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Curly Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Sweet Fennel and Garlic Vinaigrette

This recipe and others can be found in Carly’s new cookbook: The Nutritionist’s Kitchen, available for pre-order now!

This recipe is inspired by the Puget Consumer’s Co-op’s (PCC’s) Emerald City Salad. It’s a fantastic green salad that. makes for a fabulous entree or side dish. It keeps well in the refrigerator due to the hearty greens and whole grains and actually gets better over time. It’s nutrient-dense, colorful, and loaded with flavor.

Scale

Ingredients

SALAD

1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained

3 cups water

1 fennel bulb with stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, fronds reserved

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 bunch curly kale, stalks removed and finely chopped, leaves thinly sliced

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

DRESSING

1 whole garlic bulb

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine the wild rice and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover; cook the rice for about 45 to 50 minutes. The rice should absorb all the water once it’s done cooking, but always taste-test for the optimal texture. If you’re using soaked rice, reduce the cooking time. Remove from the heat and carefully scoop the hot rice onto a baking sheet, spreading evenly, to cool. Set aside. This will yield about 3½ cups of cooked rice.

While the rice is cooking, start the salad dressing. Slice the top off the garlic, exposing the tops of the cloves, and place it in a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a ½ teaspoon olive oil and wrap tightly. Place the foiled-wrapped garlic directly on the oven rack and roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until each clove is soft, almost creamy, and easy to push out with your fingers. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Toss the sliced fennel bulb and stalks in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the maple syrup, and the salt. Spread the fennel evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned or caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Add the kale, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a large bowl; massage with clean hands for 2 to 3 minutes until the kale softens and reduces in size by about a third. Massaging your kale will make it easier to chew and help with digestion. Add the chard (stalks and leaves), parsley, cooked and cooled rice, and cooled fennel to the bowl; toss together until combined.

Process all the dressing ingredients, including the roasted garlic, in a blender on high for 30 seconds or until fully emulsified. Pour over the salad and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until cool and ready to serve. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Notes

If you’re planning ahead, soak the wild rice in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse before cooking.

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