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Most kombucha devotees drink it straight for its probiotic, detoxifying benefits. In this salad, Chef Christine Moody turns it into a unique and bright salad dressing for her wintery salad of kale, roasted root veggies, fennel, and pomegranate seeds. Alex, Recipe Hunter

Alex Singer, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter

THE RECIPE

Winter Kale Salad with Kombucha Vinaigrette

The detox winter salad with a secret probiotic ingredient

Winter Kale Salad with Kombucha Vinaigrette - a healthy winter salad with roasted root vegetables, fennel, apples, and a tangy dressing

As a Canadian I’m obligated to love winter, and believe me, I do, but at some point after the holidays are over I get tired of heavy flavous, braises and stews. I developed this recipe to brighten up my winter culinary vernacular and to showcase one of my favourite new beveragess, kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented, sweetened tea which contributes to digestive health, detoxifies (I can always use a little of that), and boosts your immune system. Most kombucha devotees drink it straight, but it makes a unique and bright salad dressing, and cuts through the rich, earthy tones of the kale and the roasted veggies. Hearty, delicious, and nourishing, this salad packs a big punch of flavor with very little effort. The dressing recipe may make a little more than you actually need so just dress the salad adequately and save the rest of the dressing for another salad later in the week.

Winter Kale Salad with Kombucha Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 1 small rutabaga, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad:

  • 1 head of curly kale or lacinato kale, washed and dried, stem removed, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thinly*
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly*
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

* I sliced both the apple and the fennel on a mandoline, but you can also do it with a knife. The apple and fennel and can be done ahead provided that the slices are kept in a bowl of cold water with ½ a lemon squeezed in to prevent them from turning brown.

For the dressing:

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons ginger flavored kombucha (such as GT’s Englightened Kombucha Gingerade)
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Toss the sweet potatoes in half of the canola oil and a pinch of salt and spread out on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rutabaga on a separate sheet tray.
  3. Place the vegetables in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and stir, then return the sweet potatoes for an additional 5 minutes, and the rutabaga for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, and salt for the dressing. The kombucha will fizz a bit, this is totally normal. Drizzle in the oil while whisking. Taste for seasonings, adjust as desired, and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, add the kale and massage aggressively to break down the tough fibers. Set aside.
  6. When you are ready to assemble the salad, add the rest of the ingredients to the kale and toss with 1/2 of the dressing. If it still looks dry, add more dressing, 1 tablespoon at a time.

This salad is best if it sits for a bit before you eat it so the kale soaks up the bright flavor of the dressing and softens. It makes a great side next to a few slices of seared flank steak, or as a meatless option it’s delicious with a dollop of hummus and some crusty baguette. The best part is it makes enough for leftovers and is even tastier the day after. Try throwing in a handful of cooked grains, or topping with some crunchy nuts for an added nutritional boost.

This recipe appeared in the article: “Clean Eaters, Rejoice! A Probiotic Salad Finally Exists.

THE CHEF

Christine Moody

For me, cooking is all about creating something unique & delicious. I love big, bold flavours and using a mix of old-fashioned and modern techniques.

When you meet Christine, you can immediately feel her passion for great food and great cooking. Christine was originally trained as a bread baker and pastry chef at a German bakery in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then went on to get her culinary degree at the famed French Culinary Institute in New York City. After refining her skills in a Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of Burgundy (we’re jealous), Christine went on to run restaurants in Nantucket & Amherst, MA, as well as to act as Culinary Director for the Nantucket Wine Festival. Recently, Christine moved to Toronto, where she is in charge of food innovation for iQ Food Co, and spends her time developing dishes to nourish & inspire Canada’s financial district. Although she has an exceptional pedigree, what we love most about Christine and her style of cooking is that she doesn’t take herself, or her food, too seriously. Her cooking is fun, inspired, and elegant without being fussy and she has a knack for putting together plates that are as healthy as they are delicious.

Say hello and follow Christine on Instagram.

THE TIP

How to Cut Fennel: A Step by Step Guide

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

Fennel is a root vegetable with a crunchy texture and a mild licorice flavor. The bulb portion looks kind of like a onion and the stalks have edible fronds that resemble dill. The seeds are also often used both in whole and powdered form as a spice.

If you’ve seen fennel bulbs at the store, you might be wondering how to attack this rather intimidating-looking vegetable. We’ve put together a step by step guide to show you which parts to use, which parts to discard, and how to slice and dice it for your recipes.

Step 1: Orient the fennel horizontally on the cutting board. Cut off the stems and fronds at the base of the stalks. DON’T throw away the fronds. Pick them off the stalks and use them as a garnish to your dish, tossed into salads or even in soups and stews. The stalks make a delicious flavoring to stock but are too tough to eat on their own.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 2: Trim off the root end as well. We’ll only be using the center section, the bulb.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 3: Stand the bulb on the root end and slice through it lengthwise.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

You’ll be left with two halves.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 4: Check for any brown spots. On the piece that’s on the left, see that ugly brown spot? We want to get rid of that either by peeling off and discarding the outer layer or by using a vegetable peeler to peel it off. The piece on the right looks a-ok.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 5: Next, we have to remove the core, which is the solid white piece at the root end of the bulb. Using the tip of you knife, cut into the root at a diagonal.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 6: Repeat on the other side and remove the core as a little wedge.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 7: Turn the bulb flat side down so the striations are oriented top to bottom and slice into thin strips. If you want larger wedges (for roasting), simply cut each half into 3-4 pieces as desired. If you want to dice it, slice is as shown in the picture then turn the pieces 90 degrees and cut again.

A Step by Step Guide for How to Cut Fennel

 

Step 8: Sliced fennel will brown (like a cut apple) so if you’re not going to use it right away, add the pieces to a bowl of cold water with half of a lemon squeezed in. The acid in the lemon juice will help prevent the oxidation that causes browning. (Hint: this works great for apple slices too!). You can store the fennel like this at room temperature for several hours or in the fridge, covered, overnight.

How to Store Sliced Fennel Without Browning

 

Thinly sliced fennel is great to add raw to salads or can even be sautéed and caramelized just like onions as a base to soups, stews, or even pasta.

Have you tried fennel before? What’s your favorite way to use it? Let us know in the comments.