Lunch split between 2, with bread and cheese and cured meats
Lunch for 1 in a big bowl
Dinner side salads for 4 on small plates
If you have the ingredients on hand, this is a super fast quick orchestration under 15 minutes from start to finish.
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved/cut finely/mandolined
6 Brussel sprouts, shaved/cut finely/mandolined
1 head of Lacinato kale (otherwise known as black kale, dinosaur kale, cavolo nero), ribboned
1/4 pomegranate, seeded
1 orange, peeled, pith cut off, sliced into thin slices
handful of raw hazelnuts
white wine vinegar
coarse sea salt
A box grater makes quick work of the fennel bulb and the Brussel sprouts. I like to use the single blade and it creates a perfect feathery wedge. The subtle licorice flavour of the fennel is such a natural pairing to juicy orange slices and tart pomegranate (dry cranberries would be a good substitute if fresh pomegranate isn't available). I've used sweet toasted pecans in this salad before -- and they are delicious -- but raw hazelnuts are surprisingly perfect. Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale, cavolo nero, Tuscan kale, black kale) is earthy tasting, cool green in colour, coarse in texture until tenderized by a dressing, and in the end, ridiculously delicious. Up there with quinoa, it's one of the best things on the planet for you nutritionally speaking. Get down with kale. It won't disappoint.
Any kind of homemade grain or dijon mustard vinaigrette with a touch of something naturally sweet like honey or maple syrup is great with kale and fruit and nuts. But the salad is so vibrant and alive and complex on its own that once you've compiled everything into a bowl or onto a place a drizzle of olive oil, a grind of coarse sea salt, and a splash of white wine vinegar is also just enough. Toss the salad with your hands. It's a recent discovery of mine and I wouldn't go back.
* if you have an aversion to the licorice zing of fennel, try nappa/Chinese cabbage as a substitute
** if fresh pomegranate isn't available, or if it's too much work, go for dried cherries or dried cranberries.