I’m still deep into my love affair with rainbow radishes, dark green leafy things, and ugly vegetables in general, which had a starring role in my recipe for roasted root-vegetable salad with apricots. I didn’t know it was possible, but I love this winter harvest salad even more. You see, my husband and I eat salad, after salad, after fricken salad for lunch every single blessed day of every single blessed year with very few exceptions. Why, you ask? Because we’re lazy, and salad is an easy go to. We tell ourselves it’s because we get all of this nutrition from these raw salads, and I suppose that is true. But mostly it’s because we’re lazy. For a foodie like me, the relentless never-ending conveyor belt of the same salad every day is mind-numbingly boring. So you can imagine how delighted I was when the inspiration for this winter harvest salad struck. Just look at it! Gorgeous. Not only is it beautiful and delicious, but you can make a batch at the beginning of the week, and eat it all week! Gasp! “What?”, you say. Yes. How? Kale, my friends. Kale is my best friend because it holds up. Unlike normal lettuce that gets more than a little gross over the course of a week, kale is hearty and strong. The rainbow radishes are also very hearty and stand up to the scrutiny of a week in the fridge. Add some lentils, roasted chicken, and the best vinaigrette ever, and then hmmm your way through lunch.
Let’s zoom in here. So, what’s going on in this salad? Well, you can see kale and rainbow radishes very clearly. Next are the roasted chicken and lentils. But just to keep every single bite interesting, there are dried dates and pecans. And then the vinaigrette. Did I mention the awesomeness of the vinaigrette? My. Mouth. Is. Watering. Also, did I mention how crazy healthy this salad is? Go ahead, scroll down. Look at the nutrition labels. Vitamin C = 155% of the daily value, and Vitamin A = 45% of the daily value. You’re welcome!
Now that you’re done salivating, give it try! Don’t forget to leave a comment below to let me know what you love and maybe don’t love as much about this recipe. I can’t wait to hear from you!
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup black lentils
- 12 oz roasted chicken (I use the dark and white meat from half of a store-bought rotisserie chicken.)
- 1 rainbow radish
- 1 lb kale (about 3 bunches)
- 6 dried dates
- 1 cup pecans (I use pecan halves)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 6 tsp veg oil
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic
- Bring the water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the lentils, reduce heat to a low boil, and cook until they are tender. This should take about 30-40 minutes. Drain the lentil after they are finished cooking.
- Shred the chicken by using your hands to pull the chicken from the bone.
- Peel the radish like you would a potato using a potato peeler. Then use a mandolin to slice the radish in to paper-thin slices.
- Wash and separate the kale leaves from stem and then tear the leaves into small pieces. Discard the stem. Gently massage the leaves to tenderize them.
- Slice the dates.
- Crumble the pecans using your hands.
- I like to assemble the salad in layers so that there is a better distribution of ingredients. Assemble the salad by placing half of the kale into a large bowl and then add half of the ingredients. Place the other half of the kale on top of the first layer and add the remaining ingredients on top. I like to place the remaining chicken in the middle and surround it with the rainbow radishes because they are so beautiful!
- Place all of the mustard into a small mixing bowl.
- Add the oil to the mustard 1 tsp at a time and whisk into the mustard with a fork. Once the oil and mustard “catch”, which means they emulsify, add the next tsp of oil and so on. Adding the oil in small batches makes it easier for the oil and mustard to blend.
- Add the vinegar and blend with a fork.
- Use a microplane to grate the garlic into the vinaigrette.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and save the other half to let everyone add as they wish to their serving. Kale is very hearty and will not wilt like normal lettuce so it’s OK to add the dressing to the larger salad a few before serving.
The total time is 40 minutes because the salad and dressing can be prepared while the lentils are cooking.
Winter Harvest Salad