Well, well, well as briefly mentioned in earlier posts spring has set it’s fingerprint on Denmark pretty early this year. We are having warm days with 15 degrees and beautiful pale sunshine that brings out those rosy cheeks and freckles. So when all of this magic is going on my tastes buds are craving juicy fresh dishes. Salads, fresh fruit, smoothies, sweet breakfast bowls, and falafels (okay might feel misplaced to some, but recipe coming up, can’t help it).
Luckily I have quite a few favourite salads that I’ve been needing to share with you. Salads are one of those weird things that can be either amazing or incredible boring. It should be one of the dishes with most possibilities both in regards of ingredients, flavours, dressings, seasons, add-ins etc. But so many people, including myself, seem to get stuck when it comes to salad-creativity and end up making the same plain salad regardless of seasons, pantry and all those endless possibilities.
That is why whenever I get an idea for a new salad I write it down and keep it close. It can be ideas for topping, add-ins, a new kind of veggie, a new way to slice and prepare veggies, an amazing dressing or a spectacular flavour combination. My inspiration from this recipe was found in a salad I tasted at a spring party last year. During the party I grabbed my iPhone and wrote a note on how I would interpret the salad. I have actually been meaning to remake it for an entire year now, but it was not until yesterday that I finally did and I must say it was actually even better than how I remembered the original version.
In my world there is a few success criteria for how a salad comes close to perfection. 1# Include seasonal and tasty vegetables 2# Add roasted nuts or seeds or even roasted vegetables, as e.g. beets or sweet potato 3# Use a dressing that is filled with flavours that can lift and compliment the flavours of the vegetables and other ingredients 4# Bring in a sweet element as sliced apples, dried fruit or a honey vinaigrette and 5# a salty element as cheese, crispy panchetta or salt almonds In summary remember the 5 flavours (salt, sweet, bitter, sour and umami) and pair textures – crispy, roasted, creamy and even chewy.
Happy salad making and enjoy the forthcoming spring.
Shaved broccoli & fennel salad
1 broccoli head
1 fennel bulb
75 g dried cranberries
200 g creamy goats cheese
Quick pickled red onion
1 large red onion
4 Tbsp apple vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp runny honey
A pinch of salt
Roasted salt almonds
200 g almonds
3 Tbsp coarse sea salt
0,8 cup boiling water (200 ml)
0,4 cup rapeseed oil (100 ml)
0,4 cup apple vinegar (100 ml)
1-2 Tsp runny honey
A pinch of salt & fresh pepper
Start by preparing the roasted salt almonds. Dissolve the salt in the water. Add almonds, cover at let them soak for about 20 min. Preheat oven to 300 F °/150 C ° (fan). Drain almonds and place them on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 20 min.
While you prepare the almonds you can make the quick pickled onions as well. Slice the onion into slim wedges. Mix all the ingredients together and soak the onion slices. Set a side and give them a stir every 10 min. I think they are perfect after pickled for 30-60 min.
Make the vinaigrette by stirring al the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Use a mandolin, a food processor or a very sharp knife the shave the fennel and broccoli into paper thin slices, add them to the bowl with vinaigrette along with cranberries and pickled onions. Use your hands to mix everything together. Add the cheese and as many almonds as you prefer (I used half the portion) and gently fold it into the salad.
Serve the salad as a side dish or as a filling lunch.