Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Salad with Fennel and a Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Even though it may be winter, you can still eat the colors of the rainbow and give yourself a hearty dose of powerful phytochemicals! Consuming the deep reds, magentas, and oranges you see in this salad means that you are flooding your body with plant chemicals that prevent DNA damage, stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, block substances we ingest from becoming carcinogens, and of course mop up free radicals. In fact, I should rename this salad to The Anti-Cancer Salad! My children even love this salad (minus the red onions). I came downstairs yesterday morning to find that they had all packed a container of it their school lunches (along with chicken-vegetable soup or turkey black bean chili)!

If you haven't worked with fennel before then you are in for a treat. This delicious vegetable adds complex flavors to this salad. I love eating it raw but it's also delicious braised or roasted! We like to added it to fresh juices, in fact, since this recipe only uses the bulb, you can save the stalks to make green juice (combine green apple, parsley, kale, lemons, and fennel stalks for a delicious elixir). If you need some visual assistance in cutting up fennel then check out the tutorial I prepared for you at the bottom of this post.

One more note on the ingredients here….this recipe calls for either chopped or segmented blood oranges. To chop them you just peel, slice, and then chop into pieces. To segment, you need to peel them and then cut into wedges around the membranes. I like to use a small serrate knife to do this. It's really very easy but if you've never done it before it can seem daunting. Food52 has a great, short video on doing this that I suggest watching for guidance if you need it. You can view it here.

Winter Salad with Fennel and a Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Serve this salad with baked wild salmon and roasted winter squash, or a bean and root vegetable stew. If you can’t find blood oranges (my 3-year old calls them bloody oranges…ha!), you can replace them with navel oranges. You will need about 4 blood oranges total for the salad and dressing. If red onions are too strong for you then use 4 to 5 thinly sliced green onions.

½ head red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
1 large fennel bulb, sliced

2 large carrots, sliced diagonally then into strips
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 to 3 blood oranges, peeled and segmented (or chopped)
½ to 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ to 1 cup almonds, roasted and chopped*

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed blood orange juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon sea salt

Place the red cabbage, fennel, carrots, red onion, blood oranges, and parsley into a large bowl. If you are planning on serving the salad right away then add the almonds too. If you would like to extend the salad over a few days then sprinkle the almonds over what you plan on serving (otherwise they get soft and lose their crunch when sitting in the dressing).

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss together. Serve. Leftovers can be stored in a glass container in your refrigerator for about 3 days.

Click on the photo to enlarge it. 

How to Cut Fennel: 
1. Cut off the stalks (save them for juicing).
2. Trim the bottom (the root end).
3. Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise.
4. Cut out the core by making 2 cuts in the shape of triangle.
5. Slice the first half of the fennel lengthwise.
6. Repeat with the other half. Now you are ready to use it!

*Tip: To roast almonds, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Place the raw almonds into a glass pie plate or baking dish. Roast for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before chopping. When purchasing almonds, be sure to buy organic. All almonds now sold in the US (unless you are buying direct from a farmer) need to be pasteurized. Non-organic almonds are typically chemically-treated and organic almonds will be heat-treated (so they actually are not raw anymore). You can read more details about this process here

More Winter Salad Recipes:

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

1 comment:

  1. Hi - thanks for the delicious recipe. I might be overlooking this, but how many do you think this would serve? Looking to make this for six. Thanks!


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