Warm Herbed Mushroom & Kale Salad with Garlic Vegenaise Dressing

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Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 30min

SF, DF, GF, VG, Great for Kids

Wowzers!  Well this experiment turned out to be a good one.  This salad is absolutely packed with flavour, colour and is just totally and utterly delicious.

Salads in the Winter time are just not my thing, I struggle enough with the cold already to then be eating lots of cold crispy salad leaves.  But now and then I do crave something lighter, fresher and with some vibrancy.  And cue…. this salad came into my life!

Instead of using lots of lettuce, which is not growing in season right now, I used Kale and massaged the leaves until they are lovely and tender to eat.  Doing this helps them become more digestible but still keeping the vibrancy, energy and life from the vegetable.  Kale is an absolutely amazing vegetable.  It is absolutely full of vitamins, calcium and iron and one of the best veg for keeping our Liver clear, light and working well.

It is also one of the few veg, along with Cavolo Nero, that thrives during the cold winter months.  The more frost, the more Kale and that just says how strong a vegetable it is.  This is the kind of strength and life-force we take in when eating it.

The other main attraction of this salad, besides all of it, are the delicious mushrooms.  I absolutely love garlic herb mushrooms. They can take so much flavour and I absolutely love the meaty texture.

We have the most amazing mushroom man at our local farmers market.  He likes to just be known as “The Mushroom Man”.  He sells mushrooms on that stall that literally look like he went and picked them from another planet and it is always so inspiring to go and have a look.  Mushrooms have this other worldly feel to them, don’t you think?  Almost like they are the closest things we have to alien life!  ha ha!

So after spending some time with Mr Mushroom, I wanted to use some not so regularly known mushrooms for this salad just to mix things up a bit.  I use Oysters and Enoki, both of which I know are easily found at most supermarkets and markets.  Together they create lots of yummy different shapes and textures which I think is so important to make a salad a really great salad!

Lastly, Garlic Vegenaise! I mean, it is just the easiest thing in the world to make! And you won’t believe it when you do it and if you haven’t done it already!  Just put everything in a blender and go for it full whack.  So delicious, full of flavour and so much cheaper then store bought.  Also you can be guaranteed for it to have only good ingredients inside.

I really hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!

Nx

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 5)

Warm Mushroom Topping

  • 350g Oyster Mushrooms
  • 1 Pot Enoki Mushrooms
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and finely chopped)
  • A handful of Fresh Thyme Leaves (Taken off the stalks)
  • 2-3 Pinches Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil

The Salad Part

  • 1 Bag of Kale
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 2 Pinches Sea Salt
  • 50g Lambs Lettuce Leaves
  • 1 Large Carrot (Peeled into ribbon strips)
  • 300g Tricolore Cherry Tomatoes (Or just regular red ones)
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • Pepper, Salt
  • 130g Pumpkin Seeds
  • 190g Cooked Quinoa

The Dressing

  • 120-240ml Soy Milk (Unsweetened) – Start with least amount first
  • 230ml Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 60ml Cider Vinegar or Brown Rice Vinegar
  • 2-3 Pinches Sea Salt

Method:

– Pre-heat the oven to 180degrees celsius
– If you’re quinoa is not cooked yet then cook this now. Add 1 cup quinoa to a pot with 1.5 cups water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to the lowest heat. Keep the lid on and let it cook for 15min then turn off the heat. Leave the lid on. Do not open it until you are ready to use it
– Cut up the tomatoes into halves and drizzle with olive oil, a few pinches of pepper and salt and put in the oven to roast for 30min. Put the pumpkin seeds in the oven for 5-7min. Check after 5min to make sure they are not burning
– While the tomatoes and quinoa are cooking you can now begin to massage the kale. Strip all the leaves off the stalks and break them up into roughly bit sized pieces. Add to a large salad bowl.
– Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, 2 pinches of sea salt and 2 tbls of olive oil. Now massage firmly with your hands for approx. 5-7min or until the leaves have really broken down into soft leaves. The roughness and fibrousness of the leaves should be gone.
– Once done, add the lambs lettuce leaves to the bowl and leave aside
– Add pumpkin seeds to the salad bowl with the kale
– Once the quinoa is done add 1 cup of cooked quinoa to the salad bowl
– Once the tomatoes are done, leave them aside to cool a little
– Take your carrot and cut off the ends and peel. Then peel your way through the whole carrot to get lovely ribbons. It is totally fine if some break off short. It is the shape and texture we want here
– Add the carrot to the salad bowl
– Now begin to make your vegenaise. Add everything into a blender and blend for at least 3-5min until really thick and creamy. It should be just like mayonnaise but maybe a little lighter or runnier. Leave aside.
– Now add the tomatoes to the bowl and arrange them so that they are equally placed around the salad bowl. Now lightly mix the salad contents so that they are lightly mixed. Be careful not to mix too roughly here as you will squash the tomatoes and that won’t be nice!
– Once everything else has been done, begin to cook your mushrooms. Cut the oyster mushrooms up into rough chunky slices and finely chop your garlic
– Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and add the oysters first, then add the garlic and thyme and 2 good pinches of sea salt.
– Then take the enoki mushrooms and cut off the rough end – they should usually be all bunched together, so you can just cut off the whole end bit. Break them up and add them to the frying pan
– Fry on a high/medium heat for approx. 3-4 minutes, the mushrooms should be lovely and soft and releasing their own juices and flavour. But make sure they are not over cooked as they will loose their satisfying meatiness
– Add the whole contents of the frying pan to the salad bowl to lay on top of the salad
– Ready to serve with generous dollops of garlic vegenaise!

Enjoy xxx

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