Friday, April 5, 2013

Raw Kale and Fennel Salad with Fava Bean Greens

This week in my kitchen, the theme has been green. I'm craving all sorts of green. It's amazing how in-tuned our bodies are to the changing of the seasons. As plenty of new green plants are shooting out of the ground, our bodies literally crave what is abundant from the earth. At least mine does. And I'm sure yours does, too, if you take a moment to listen to it.
The other day, I came across a new-to-me leafy green at the market. They were the lovely fava bean greens and I snatched up a giant bunch of them. They have a tender texture like spinach, but have a flavor that resembles pea shoots. I love how versatile they are and they've been making their way into my salads all week. As with any leafy green, they're full of alkalizing and cleansing properties and are perfect during this time of year when the body needs green nourishment. Combined with my favorite varieties of kale and some thinly sliced fennel, they made a perfect green-packed salad that made my body sing.
This is such a simple salad that can be made with literally any type of greens you have. You can even add some more thinly sliced crunchy vegetables, like young carrots or raw beets. And go crazy on the fresh herbs, like basil, dill, cilantro, or parsley. The dressing is simple, just lemon, olive oil, and salt. Really, there's no reason not to make this salad. It's that easy. Do your body a world of good and whip it up today for lunch.

Raw Kale and Fennel Salad with Fava Beans Greens (makes a very big salad)

1 bunch curly purple kale, rinsed, de-stemmed, and chopped
1 bunch Tuscan kale, rinsed, de-stemmed, and chopped
1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
juice of one lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
a few pinches of sea salt
1 small bunch fava bean greens (or baby spinach or chopped Swiss chard)
big handfuls of fresh herbs of your choice, chopped (cilantro, basil, dill, or all three!)

1. Combine the chopped kale, sliced fennel, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a very large bowl. Massage this mixture with your hands until the kale starts to wilt (about 3 minutes of massaging)

2. Add the fava bean greens (or spinach or Swiss Chard) and fresh herbs. Season with more salt if needed.

Remember, this salad is very versatile. Add any other vegetable to the salad to bulk it up, serve it with some cooked quinoa and a lentil salad, or top it with a poached egg. The sky is the limit! The key here is just getting these beautiful greens into your body and enjoying every minute of it.

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