Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

With summer just around the corner, the weather has been warming up nicely over the last few weeks so salads are finally back on the menu in our house!

I’ve been trying to get more creative with my salads lately because I’ve had this creamy avocado and kale salad with crispy chickpeas on repeat for most of the year! Although I still love it, there’s nothing like adding more variety to your repertoire – especially after 3 months of lockdown cooking.

What I love about this new roast fennel and asparagus salad is the beautiful, anise flavour of the fennel, combined with the nutty crunch of the asparagus. Add to that some creamy avocado, roasted sweet potato, and a tangy, apple cider and ginger dressing, and you have a salad worthy of it’s own dinner party.

If you’re not a huge fennel fan, lightly roasting it will mellow its flavour and texture. Likewise, by roasting or pan-frying the asparagus, you’ll bring out it’s unique, nutty flavour. Just be careful not to overcook your asparagus, as slightly crunchy asparagus is much more delicious than soggy, flaccid asparagus!

Serve this gluten-free, roast fennel salad on it’s own for a delicious, light meal. Throw in some plant-based protein such as toasted almonds, pine nuts or hemp seeds to turn it into a more substantial meal. Or serve it as a side alongside your favourite main dish.

Store any extra dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and is delicious over roasted vegetables or steamed broccolini.

Enjoy!

Roast Fennel, Asparagus & Sweet Potato Salad

Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 1 hour

2-3 sweet potatoes (any colours)
1 fennel bulb
1 bunch of asparagus
1 avocado
4 large handfuls salad greens
drizzle of avocado/coconut/olive oil

Apple Cider & Ginger Vinaigrette
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch Himalayan pink salt
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan bake. Peel and chop the sweet potato into chunks and place on a lined oven tray. Drizzle sweet potato with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss together. Place the tray in the centre of the oven to bake for approximately 20-30 minutes. When sweet potato is cooked through, remove it from the oven and allow to cool.

Prepare the fennel by washing and cutting the bulb into slices. Arrange the slices on another lined oven tray, drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tray in the oven to bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the fennel is just starting to brown and soften. Remove the fennel from the oven and set aside to cool.

Save some of the fennel fronds, roughly chop and set aside.

Wash the asparagus and slice into bite size pieces. Either toss with a little oil and add to the fennel tray for 5 minutes. Or heat a little oil in a small pan over medium heat and pan-fry for about 5 minutes. Aim for the asparagus to be cooked but still crunchy. Set the cooked asparagus aside and allow to cool.

Make the vinaigrette by placing all the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined.

Rinse the salad greens and place in a large serving bowl. Combine with the cooled sweet potato, fennel and asparagus. Top with sliced avocado and sprinkle with the fennel fronds.

Just before serving, drizzle the salad with apple cider vinaigrette. Any leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Roast Fennel, Asparagus & Sweet Potato Salad
Roast Fennel, Asparagus & Sweet Potato Salad

Courgette Strip Salad with Avocado, Kale and Almond Dukkah

Courgette Strip Salad with Avocado, Kale and Almond Dukkah

Courgette Strip Salad with Avocado, Kale and Almond Dukkah

 

I didn’t plan to share this courgette strip salad this week, but all of a sudden we lost electricity this week so it suddenly became the perfect recipe!

We live in an old villa and despite it being rewired, the electricity started going on the blink a few months ago. Usually after some down time everything eventually turns back on, and because we can’t find any obvious fault we put it down to being an old villa.

This morning, however, Nick turned the heating on and within seconds everything blew! Luckily we still had hot water, but unlike previous times, we couldn’t get much else to work like the toaster or kettle. So Nick went to work without breakfast and left me to slowly switch everything back on. But this time, I had no luck.

So while we wait for an electrician, our kitchen remains without power and we now have a good excuse to eat out!

 

 

Which brings me to this week’s recipe. This salad is very minimalistic yet not lacking in flavour whatsoever! Like most salads you don’t need any electricty to make it, with the exception of the almond dukkah which can be made ahead of time.

This salad is fresh, vibrant, and full of green goodness. There’s a decent serving of healthy fats and protein from the avocado, nuts and seeds, and best of all it can be whipped up minutes. I’ve paired it with a turmeric vinaigrette but if that sounds too complicated, then a simple combination of fresh lemon juice and tahini shaken in a jar also works amazingly.

The almond dukkah recipe below will make much more than you need for this salad, but it’s so delicious and versatile you’ll find yourself sprinkling it on everything you can find!

I hope you enjoy this minimalist salad and if you make it, be sure to come back and let me know what you think! Enjoy.

 

Courgette Strip Salad with Avocado, Kale and Almond Dukkah

 

Courgette Strip Salad with Avocado, Kale and Almond Dukkah

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes  

4 courgettes
2 large handfuls baby spinach or baby kale leaves
1 ripe avocado

Turmeric Vinaigrette Dressing:
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
pinch of pink Himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper

Almond Dukkah:
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake, or in a food processor and blend until combined. Store any leftover in the fridge.

To make the dukkah, place the almonds into a 160ºC oven and bake until they just start to change colour, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and roughly chop. Meanwhile, place the seeds in a dry fry pan over medium heat and shake around the pan until you begin to smell the spices, this should only take a minute or two. Remove the seeds from the pan and combine with the salt and chopped almonds. Store in an airtight jar at room temperature.

To prepare the salad, wash the courgette well and cut off the ends. Use a vegetable peeler to peel long strips, turning the courgette every so often until you have no more green left. Wash and drain the baby spinach of kale leaves and prepare the avocado by removing the stone and cutting into slices.

To assemble the salad, toss the courgette and spinach or kale leaves into a mixing bowl and combine with 1/2 cup of dressing and 3/4 cup of dukkah. Toss to combine. Place a portion into a serving bowl and top with avocado slices and another sprinkling of dukkah.

Once assembled, this courgette salad will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
 

Courgette Strip Salad with Avocado, Kale and Almond Dukkah

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