‘Tis the season for sweets and treats, Christmas cookies and cocktails galore. You guys already know by now that I am one for balance and not setting such strict rules on yourself that you restrict everything completely and end up flailing around and ruining your lifestyle after one “slip up”. Balance and occasional indulging is important, especially during this special time of year. However, I am also someone that absolutely HAS to have my daily greens. It absolutely is not an option for me to skip out.
I believe a few treats here and there during the holidays can be a special indulgence without derailing all the special attention you give to your food, lifestyle and your health throughout the year. But, I also feel that just means it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting the good things. Nourishing, properly prepared, nutrient-dense foods – this is precisely the fuel our body needs to get through this hectic, and oftentimes stressful, time of year.
This salad was the literal bright spot in my week of holiday recipe testing and busy go-go-going. My body was calling out for greens! Warm greens. I find cooked or massaged kale to be far easier to digest than rough and fibrous raw kale and it’s definitely less abrasive on the gut, especially if yours is sensitive. Plus, with the cooler weather, ice cold salads just aren’t as appealing to me, so this warm kale salad topped with a bright, tart cranberry salsa was born. Plus, we cannot deny the
unintentional, beautiful, seasonally appropriate red and green color combo we are rocking here.
Topped with fragrant and flavorful, slightly sweet, roasted fennel and finished with a bright, beautiful and seasonal cranberry meyer lemon salsa, this salad makes for a great side with whatever protein you are eating, poultry, fish or pork, especially or you can add the protein right on top. I enjoyed this salad as breakfast actually, topped with a fried, locally-sourced duck egg and it was phenomenal. It’d also be great with grilled chicken or bacon. The feta is optional and goat cheese would also be great!
[print_this]Warm Kale Salad with Roasted Fennel and Cranberry Meyer Lemon Salsa
- 1 small fennel bulb, core removed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 4 cups kale, roughly chopped
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 sheep’s milk feta or goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss sliced fennel with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a generous pinch each sea salt and pepper. Spread on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Roast for 15 minutes, carefully toss the fennel, and then roast for another 7 – 10 minutes more or until tender with crisp, golden brown edges. During the last few minutes, keep an eye on the fennel and pull any that’s about to burn.
Prep the salsa while the fennel roasts (see below). Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the kale. Saute until the kale is deep green but not yet wilted. Remove from heat. Serve immediately topped with the roasted fennel and Cranberry Meyer Lemon Salsa (recipe below), add crumbled feta or goat cheese and your favorite protein, if you’d like.[/print_this]
[print_this]Cranberry Meyer Lemon Salsa
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion or shallot
- 1/2 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
- fresh cilantro
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
Add all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped and combined. Salt and pepper, to taste. Let stand at room temperature for around 15 minutes. Stir in freshly chopped cilantro just before serving.
NOTE: This recipe will likely make more than you need for the salad, but it will keep several days in the refrigerator and it can be great on other salads, served over roast chicken or grilled fish, or use it for appetizers, as a dip with crackers and cheese or on top of crostini with cheese.[/print_this]