When I first told my housemate I was making this salad, she was sceptical. It’s not that she doesn’t like kale, in fact she’s a die-hard kale salad fan, but she found the parsnip aspect not so appealing. But I was pleased to see she changed her mind the minute she tasted that crispy maple-caramelized roasted parsnip intermingled with sweet pomegranate seeds and shredded kale. I hope you’ll give this one a try as well. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love this salad.
This is an antioxidant-packed winter salad that brings together the colors of the holidays and delivers a sweet maple-infused flavour punch. I always make sure I have lots of holiday salad recipes up my sleeve for the month of December because this time of year can be so filled with rich, heavy foods (which, don’t get me wrong, have their full place of honour at my table). But having lots of salads keeps everyone glowing and happy. What are your favorite holiday salad recipes? Please share in the comments below.
Kale is usually the last soldier standing in the garden and even way up here in the snowy north, we can often harvest it into mid-January. So kale makes an almost daily appearance on our table and I never seem to get tired of it. You may remember this kale Caesar salad from the summer, as well as my “massaged kale” salad from a couple years ago.
This particular version of kale salad combines raw shredded kale, sweet maple caramelized roasted parsnips, and juicy red pomegranate seeds. I like to toss it with a simple lemon maple vinaigrette and if I have time to get fancy, garnish it with some parmesan shavings and toasted hazelnuts. But you could easily personalize it and add bacon, or roasted squash or brussels sprouts, or shredded red cabbage for additional color. Make it your own!
PS: If you’ve never seeded a pomegranate, don’t be intimidated, this video provides a great tutorial on how to do it!
I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy it! Bon appétit!
Kale, Pomegranate, and Caramelized Parsnip Salad
- For the Salad:
- 1 large bunch of kale (about 10 large leaves)
- 1 pomegranate
- 4 medium parsnips (about 1 pound)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional Garnish:
- 2 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan
- 3 Tbsp. toasted hazelnuts
- Wash the parsnips and scrub if needed, no need to peel them. Slice lengthwise into pieces about 3 inches long and then cut those into quarters (or eights if the parsnips are big). Place them in a roasting pan with the 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp maple syrup and toss well. Roast them in a 375 F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender inside and crispy golden on the outside. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Place all the salad dressing ingredients in a jar, screw on the lid, and shake vigorously.
- Cut away the stems from the kale leaves and discard them. Place the kale leaves on top of one another and shred finely. Place the shredded kale in a large salad bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Let the kale rest for 30 minutes to absorb the dressing.
- Deseed the pomegranate. This video shows how to do it. Add the pomegranate seeds and the cooled roasted parsnip to your salad and toss.
- If you wish, garnish with toasted hazelnuts (simply place hazelnuts in a skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so they don't burn) and freshly grated parmesan.
Yield: 8 servings
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.