Raw Root Vegetable Salad

Anyone else feel like color is missing from their plate lately? So many of the root vegetables that are available this time of year are a shade of bland. During the summer, it's easy to get excited about bell peppers and cucumbers and tomatoes. But in the winter it's different. It's hard to get excited about rutabagas and turnips. As much as I try. 

Plus, root vegetables take forever to cook! 

I've been raving about this salad to anyone who would listen since I discovered it. It made a large enough batch that I ate it for three days. I'm still craving for more. 

There are so many things I love about this salad! From the colors to the variety of textures to the flavor to the nutritional profile. I could eat this every day and be happy forever. 

The salad consists of shredded kale and grated rutabaga, turnip, and carrot. You could substitute rainbow chard or collards for the kale. You could substitute other root vegetables like beets and radishes for the rutabaga, turnip, or carrot. Just make sure you have about 2 1/2 cups of grated raw root veggies and you'll be fine. 

The dressing couldn't be easier. As you may recall from the Lemon Tossed Cabbage recipe a few weeks ago, I've been using preserved lemons in a lot of my cooking lately and this recipe is no different. If you don't have preserved lemons, no worries. Just use a fresh lemon in its place. 

The salad on its own is delicious. The candied pecans take it to a whole new level. Yes, they add significant calories to the dish, so be conscious of how many you are adding. Chopping the pecans into smaller pieces after they've been candied helps to spread their deliciousness around without adding too many. Keep the pecans separate from the salad until you are ready to serve it.

Raw Root Vegetable Salad
6 servings | 45 minutes | Print

2 (12 ounce) bunches kale
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 preserved lemon, minced (or 1 lemon juiced and zested)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce to make salad gluten-free)
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 medium turnip (1 cup grated)
1/2 medium rutabaga (1 cup grated)
1 medium carrot (1/2 cup grated)

Candied Pecans
1 1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale. Cut the leaves into thin shreds and place in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl and gently massage the seasonings into the kale for a few minutes. The kale will soften slightly and start to wilt. Set aside.
  3. Make the candied pecans: Whisk together the maple syrup, canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the pecans and stir so they are well coated with the liquid. Spread out on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment or foil. Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until they are brown and fragrant. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside to finish cooling.
  4. Make the salad dressing: whisk together the minced lemon (or the juice of a lemon and the zest of a lemon), 1 tablespoon olive oil, soy sauce, and agave nectar. 
  5. Grate the turnip, rutabaga, and carrot and stir into the kale. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to combine. Taste. Add salt if needed. 
  6. Coarsely chop the cooled pecans. 
  7. To serve, place one cup of salad on a plate. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of chopped pecans on top of the salad. The vegetables will be delicious for several days; add the pecans just before serving to preserve their freshness.
Approximately, one cup of the salad
Approximately, 3 tablespoons of the candied pecans
Adapted from Vegetarian Times.

Labels: , , , , ,