Roast baby kale and apple salad with orange marinade and lentils

It’s finally getting colder here, there’s a refreshing snap in the air in the mornings now. It’s actually starting to feel like autumn! But the sun is still hot in the afternoons, so my original idea for a hearty salad using baby kale felt like it needed a brighter note. I have a few oranges left over from summer cup cocktails a couple of weeks ago, so I made a herby, smoky, orangey marinade to roast the apples and kale in. It works really well, adding a sweetness and citrus hit to the rich kale and tart apples, without overpowering them. I’ve added some roasted almonds for protein and flavour, and overall it makes a very satisfying and interesting dish. And tasty too of course!

My baby button hole kale was from asda and is a whole little plant with stems and leaves (see the picture below), but you could use normal kale or any dark leaved cabbage, just adjust the cooking time if you’re using leaves only.

Baby kale and apple salad with orange marinade and lentils

Roast baby kale and apple salad with orange marinade and lentils

serves 2

2 baby button hole kale, quartered

1 apple, sliced (the eating kind rather than a cooker, it’s better if it holds its shape)

1 400 g tin of green lentils, drained and rinsed (or cook your own, around 80 g of dried)

40 g salted roast almonds

for the marinade

1 orange, zest and juice

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp liquid smoke or smoked paprika

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Baby button hole kale, whole...

A baby button hole kale, whole…

And quartered!

And two quartered!

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.

First start the marinade. Put the orange juice, orange zest, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in a bowl and mix together. Set aside for ten minutes or so, this allows the dried herbs to soften and start to release their flavour.

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the kale. Cook at a fast simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the kale and put it in a large roasting tin, along with the apple slices.

Add the liquid smoke, olive oil and some salt and pepper to the marinade, mix and then tip over the vegetables. Mix well to make sure everything is coated, and then arrange the apples around the edge of the tray, leaving the kale in the middle. Roast for 10 minutes, and then turn everything over. Pop back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. When it’s done the kale should be just starting to crisp at the edges and the apple should be soft, and golden from the orange juice.

Remove the kale and apple to a bowl, and mix the lentils and almonds through the remaining marinade in the roasting tin.

To serve, put a few lentils in the bottom of each dish and then pile the kale and apples on top, finishing with the rest of the lentils.

By E.


Mono cafe bar, Glasgow and a kale salad with lentils, rice and butternut squash

On our first day in Glasgow, we found the apartment we were renting and set out for a wander. It was past lunch time, and with only a limited idea where we were headed we found ourselves outside Mono, yay! We’d looked at the menu online, and it was on our list of places to try. Mostly, it has to be said, because I really, really wanted to try the pho…

Vegan food served in music and performance venues does seem to be a big thing in Glasgow, the three places we tried all followed this pattern, but with nicely different menus!

Mono is a lovely open space, with a raised platform full of tables, and then more dotted around the main floor area. It was very busy while we were there, which was great to see, but the service was very good. It was fun to watch the steady stream of great looking dishes leaving the kitchen!

Mono does have a gluten/wheat free menu with plenty of choices, but they do fry the tofu, chips etc. in oil which is also used for wheat products which limits things if you can’t have gluten rather than just avoid it. This is made clear on the menu though!

We shared hummus, salad and tortilla chips to start, it was a good hummus with all the right flavours.

Alex then had the roasted beetroot and kale salad with pecans, sun dried tomatoes and chickpeas. This also came with a creamy dill dressing which helped to bring it all together. It was a tasty salad, but an awful lot of kale to get through in one go!

I had the pho of course! It came with courgette noodles rather than rice noodles, which was a nice change, but they were a little difficult to eat! The broth was lovely, very different from my Vietnamese style broth, with, I think, lemongrass involved. The selection of vegetables was great, with yellow peppers, mange tout peas and beansprouts among plenty of other things! The veg was cut into rather big pieces though, so along with the noodles I did not manage to eat it in my usual ladylike (ahem…) fashion!

Overall it was a satisfying, tasty, healthy meal which set us up nicely for some more exploring.

In honour of the kale salad, I made this version for work lunches this week, and very good it was too.

Kale salad with lentils and butternut squash

Kale salad with lentils and butternut squash

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