Confession time. It's about this time of year that I start looking back at my photos of the Portland farmers market in summer with an embarassing amount of longing. I dream of mounds of heirloom tomatoes and baskets of peppers and piles of cucumbers and bunches of basil and I just get...antsy. Don't get me wrong, I love Portland in late winter—with the promise of cherry blossoms, asparagus, rhubarb, and daffodils waiting just around the corner, but by this time of year my weekly trips to the market yield little to no inspiration beyond another tray of broiled brussels and a pot of carrot soup. Luckilly I've got friends with more winter recipe willpower than I posess, including local whole foods crusader Lauren Chandler of Lauren Chandler Cooks. Here, she shares three incredible salads that call in some favors from winter-ripe citrus superfoods, smokey spices, and fresh all-season herbs to bring the pow back to the table for a few more grey months.
RADISH, FENNEL, & CITRUS SALAD WITH CREAMY AVOCADO RADISH GREEN DRESSING
6 small radishes (leaves reserved), thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small fennel bulb (fronds reserved), halved, cored and shaved paper-thin (about ½ cup)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the sliced radishes and fennel in a bowl of ice water and let soak until they become crisp, about 15 minutes. Once they are crisp, drain and pat dry with paper towels, then toss them together in a medium bowl and set aside.
Place the onion and lemon juice in a small bowl and let soak 25-30 minutes, until the onion and the juice start to turn pink. Strain the onions over a blender so the blender catches the lemon juice. Add the onions to the bowl with the radishes and fennel.
With a sharp knife, remove the grapefruit and orange peel, including the bitter white pith. Working over a different bowl, cut the citrus segments free from the membranes and release the segments into the bowl. Squeeze the citrus juice from the membranes. Transfer the citrus into the bowl with the radish and fennel.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of the citrus juice, 1 cup radish leaves (thoroughly cleaned), and half of the avocado (use half if it is a large avocado, all of it if it is small) to the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more citrus juice to thin to your liking.
Gently fold enough of the dressing into the salad to coat the vegetables lightly and evenly. (Store the remaining dressing in an airtight container in the fridge and add to beans, grains, other veggies…) Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with the walnuts and small pieces of the fennel fronds.
SMOKEY ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES WITH KALE & HAZELNUTS
1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half or quarters for 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, divided
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 head of kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mound the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and roast them until just tender and brown, about 30 minutes, turning once. Set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the other ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, tahini, and remaining smoked paprika. Place the kale in a large bowl and add the dressing, massaging it into the kale for about 2 minutes, or until the kale softens.
Fold the hazelnuts into the kale, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish, then fold in the potatoes adding salt and pepper to taste. Divide equally among plates and garnish with the reserved hazelnuts.
Winter Kale Salad
"This recipe is a template which includes some type of onion (green onion), citrus (pink grapefruit), herb (mint), nut or seed (walnut), creamy ingredient (avocado), and crunch (sprouted lentil & radish). It would be just as good substituting shallot, naval orange, cilantro, pepitas, roasted sweet potato, and tiny cauliflower florets. The particular ingredients in this recipe compliment each other beautifully, but since there are a lot of strong flavors, it would still work if you were missing a couple of ingredients. Kale, grapefruit and walnuts? Yes. Kale, avocado, mint, radish? Yes. Got it?"—Lauren Chandler
2 pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 bunch Lacinato kale, finely chopped
4 small or 2 large radishes, sliced into thin half-moons
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup sprouted or cooked green lentils
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
tablespoons finely chopped mint
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
With a sharp knife, remove the skin and the bitter white pith from the grapefruits. Working over a small bowl to catch the juice, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Place the segments in another small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl with the juice. Reserve ¼ cup of juice.
Whisk the oil, mustard and a pinch of salt into the bowl with the grapefruit juice.
Place the kale in a large bowl. Add the dressing and massage the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes, until the kale starts to become soft and tender.
Transfer the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss gently to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.