Christmas tree salad
It's been quiet on the blog for a while; I've had a busy month and other things have taken over. But I'm excited to be back with the beautifully bright Christmas tree salad. Don't worry, it doesn't contain pine needles.
The holiday period is many great things, but health conscious isn't necessarily top of the list. Food and drink punctuate - and sometimes define - celebratory events with family and friends. Work parties and drinks, Christmas dinner, leftover lunches and new years eve are full of boozy and sugary temptation… and let's face it, canapés, mulled wine, mince pies and your gran's special Christmas trifle aren't exactly bursting with nutrients.
Christmas is about relaxing and enjoying yourself. In every post, I try and get across the point that eating well really doesn't have to feel boring or like denial. Replacing some of the traditional classics with healthier, nutrient rich foods will not only be enjoyable (it's good to shake things up a bit after all), but it'll also help keep your energy and digestion on track and reduce the dreaded January slump where you feel like you've morphed into a brandy soaked Christmas pudding.
So in amongst the prosecco and roasties, why not include the Christmas tree salad to bring some balance. It would make a great addition to the Christmas dinner table, and if you're up for being controversial, it could even replace the roast potatoes and sprouts (or have I gone a step too far?). It would work brilliantly with leftovers and is handy to have made up in the fridge so there's something that's good for you to reach for when you're feeling peckish.
Romanesco broccoli florets are like tiny Christmas trees and pomegranate seeds like little baubles. Aside from looking pretty, their flavours combine really well. The slight bitterness and crunch of the romanesco and kale are balanced by the sweetness of the pomegranate, orange and sweet potato. This salad is rich in magnesium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene - these nutrients support immunity and offer anti-oxidant protection. The compounds in the romanesco provide important nutrients for liver function too.
Wishing you a very happy, colourful and bright Christmas x
Christmas tree salad
For the salad:
1 head romanesco broccoli
1 sweet potato
8 stalks of curly kale
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 large orange
1 cup walnuts
4 small spring onions
1tbsp coconut oil
Large pinch of salt (sea salt or Himalayan pink rock salt)
For the dressing:
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. Chop the sweet potato cross ways into 1cm slices, then cut each slice into quarters. Place in a roasting tin with the coconut oil and a large pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, giving the tin a shake every 10 minutes or so to make sure the slices cook evenly.
Remove the kale from its stalks and chop the leaves. Cut the romanesco into small florets. Steam both for 2 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
Thinly slice the orange, then cut each slice into quarters. Roughly chop the walnuts and spring onions.
Combine and mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
To assemble, allow the sweet potato to cool a little, then mix with the greens and spring onions in a large bowl. Add half the nuts, pomegranate seeds and orange and mix well, adding the dressing. Sprinkle the remaining nuts, pomegranate seeds and orange slices on top to decorate.