A superfood salad

Posted on: 18th January, 2016

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

Lettercollum Kitchen Project, 22 Connolly Street, Clonakilty. Phone 023 8836938/023 8846251 karen@lettercollum.ie. www.lettercollum.ie.

It’s a sure sign that Christmas is over when the decorations come down and all that remains is a pile of lost property. We seem to have a lot of abandoned scarves this year. There’s a pile of them on the desk in the sitting room waiting to be reclaimed. This indicates not only that a lot of people received a scarf this year for Christmas but also that it wasn’t cold, as they left our house without them. Spectacularly wet and windy yes, but not cold!

According to my mum the cold is on its way so best get prepared for the onslaught with plenty of vitamin C.

January brings the most delicious oranges. The big Spanish oranges are divine — juicy and bursting with flavour. Oranges from Spain are about as local as they get in this part of the world and worth seeking out. I always look forward to the orange season and we consume vast amounts of them juiced, thrown into smoothies for breakfast or as general portable snacks. They also sneak into our lunch and dinners.

Oranges are great for brightening up winter salads. They pair well with beetroots or fennel, with lentils and roasted vegetables and also with this month’s salad recipe, a superfood blast of kale, avocado and orange.

Kale is well known to be the King of the supergreens, stacked with vitamins A, C and K, it is one of the most nutrient dense food available and avocados are right up there on the superfood list too so paired with orange this salad should up your odds on staying healthy this winter!

When choosing the kale for this salad, go for small leaves rather than big; and the avocados should be firm but with a bit of give, not hard, nor squishy.

Kale, Avocado and Orange Salad

Ingredients:

150g kale

1 big or 2 small ripe avocados

2 oranges

1 red onion

25g sunflower seeds

25g pumpkin seeds

1tsp tamari (optional)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1tbs cider or white balsamic vinegar plus 1tsp for the onion

3tbs olive oil

Method:

Wash the kale and shake off excess water. A salad spinner is excellent if you have one, otherwise resort to the old fashioned wrapped in a tea-towel swing. Strip the centre stem from each leaf, then stack a few together and roll up like a cigar. Cut the kale into skinny ribbons and put them in a bowl.

Juice half an orange, put 2 tbs of the juice into a cup and keep the rest aside. Mix the 2tbs juice with one teaspoon of dijon mustard and the cider or white balsamic vinegar then whisk in the olive oil with a fork. Season with a little salt and pour over the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands, leave aside for five minutes then massage again.

Peel the red onion and cut it in half. Slice thinly, then sprinkle with a little salt. Toss them about and give them a quick rub to separate the rings. Put them into a bowl and drizzle a little white balsamic over them. Toss them well and put aside.

Heat a small frying pan, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and toss them together. Cook them on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan regularly so they don’t burn. When they are lightly golden take them off the heat and shake the tamari over, if you are using it, then tip them onto a plate to cool.

Peel the orange with a sharp knife, removing the skin and pith in one go.

Using a small sharp knife cut each segment of orange from the outer membrane. Do this over the kale so the excess juice falls into the salad.

Cut the avocado in half vertically. Hold one half firmly with one hand then wiggle the other half gently with the other hand. The avocado should come apart. Remove the pip and the peel and dice into cm cubes.

Toss the avocado cubes in the reserved orange juice, this will prevent discolouration.

When you’re ready to eat, toss the avocado, onion and orange segments with the kale and sprinkle the seeds on top.

We have a new series of cooking classes for the spring kicking off with a Curry class on January 30 where you will learn to make a vegetable Thali from Southern India, Pindi Chana from the North, zippy Thai curries and the multi ethnic curries from Malaysia, all accompanied with the various sidekicks. Just the thing to keep warm and keep the bugs at bay. If you would like more information please call into the shop or email me. The full cooking class schedule is in our advert and also on our website

Happy New Year!

Karen

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