A BELUGA & KALE SALAD w/ Orange Miso Dressing
- juice of 1 large juicy orange / approx. 1/3 cup juice
- juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp miso - I used Urban Hippy Miso made in Nelson
- 1 tsp local honey
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger root
- 1/2 cup black beluga OR French green lentils soaked for several hours
- 4 large leaves of kale stalks removed - I used a mix of green and purple kale
- extra virgin olive oil
- lemon juice
- 10 Brussels sprouts OR 1/4 Chinese cabbage
- 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
Drain the soaked lentils and place in a saucepan. Cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain through a sieve and season with a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool while making the salad and dressing.
Remove the stalks from the kale and tear the leaves into 'bite-sized' pieces. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt. Now get your hands in there and massage the leaves for several minutes. This helps to soften the otherwise tough fibres making them easier to digest. Spread on a large salad platter. Use a mandolin to finely shave the Brussels sprouts [or chop Chinese cabbage thinly] and scatter over the kale. Top with the drained lentils and scatter with chopped walnuts.
Make the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Drizzle over the salad and you are good to go! This dressing can be made ahead of time and is also delicious drizzled over roast vegetables. It is quite addictive so stock up on Miso and oranges 🙂
BELUGA LENTILS are small black lentils that hold their shape well when cooked so are perfect for tossing through salads. They are available through Chantal Organics. French green lentils or du Puy lentils can also be used with similar results.
As I travel around the country running my Cooking Workshops I am often asked where I am visiting from. This question is generally not asked by the people coming to a workshop, but the other people I encounter during my trips. The shuttle driver, the cook school staff, hotel owner etc. And when I say Nelson, the response is always the same. ‘OH you are so lucky, I LOVE Nelson.’
Of-course I can only agree, that is why I live here. It is also my hometown, however many of my school friends now live elsewhere so that is not really why I live here. I live here because of my friends and the larger intertwined community, the access to amazing local food, the closeness of un-crowded golden beaches, national parks, and mountains. And it is a great place to bring up children – safe, community-based, good schools, and the weather is often sunny and warm.
When I first returned to Nelson after traveling for many years there was one thing that really stood out as the heartbeat of this city. The Nelson Saturday Market. I remember going to the market as a child and I now take my children there most weeks. A colourful mish-mash of craft and food, buskers and families, it is a real community hub. My return to Nelson 10 years ago was meant to be temporary, however, every week when Saturday rolled around I would be so in love with this city I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I soon found myself working on Wolfgang Mann’s organic vegetable stall every Saturday morning. Here I met many of my friends and the wholesome community of Nelson.
After several years of working on Wolfgang’s stall he put a proposal to me [not the type of proposal you may be thinking, he is a happily married man – although I did meet my husband at his stall!]. He wanted to set up an organic box delivery in Nelson and wanted me to run it with him. We teamed up and Fresh2U organic food delivery was born. For seven years, from 2005-2012, together we delivered boxes of organic vegetables to homes around the top of the south [and it is still going strong]. I realise now it was committing to running Fresh2U that finally made me settle in Nelson all those years ago.
I am writing this today because this coming Saturday we, the Nelson community, will farewell Wolfgang. After 24 years of growing organic produce and running his vegetable stall at the Saturday market Wolfgang is retiring [from growing vegetables anyway]. He and his wife have sold there large certified organic farm and are moving to town. Their children have flown the coop, and it is time for a change for this exceptional local food hero. I personally have a lot to thank Wolfgang for, I may not be here writing this with my gorgeous family living in Nelson if it wasn’t for him. And his dedication and hard work to grow nutrient-rich organic food has nourished many Nelsonians over the years.
If you live in Nelson and have supported Wolfgang over the years then come down to the Saturday Market this weekend. There is a SURPRISE farewell planned [I hope Wolfgang doesn’t read this beforehand – I will send him the link next week] with chocolate cake and more. Meet outside Penquinos at 10.15am and we will walk over to his stall as a group and send him off with bang!