Salad is sort of a no-no in Ayurveda, given that raw vegetables are light, rough, dry and cooling in nature and therefore not so easy to digest. Having said that, if you have a strong digestion, if you cook some of the ingredients in your salad, if you toss in digestive herbs/spices, and if your salad is more accompaniment than featured dish – the minor notes that lift the major – then salad goes from no-no to oh yea, especially when it celebrates the season’s harvest.
This is that.
APPLE BEET FENNEL SALAD Serves 2
This packs well in a mason jar for a portable lunch. Ideally, put cooked lentils at the bottom of the jar, then add this dressing, then layer on the beet apple mixture, then top it with lettuce, herbs and roasted pumpkin-fennel seeds. Before serving place the mason jar in a tall bowl of hot water to warm. Of course, you can make it vegan by replacing ghee with coconut oil.
4 beets, scrubbed
4 cloves garlic
1 hearty tablespoon of ghee
1 pinch pink salt & 1 pinch black pepper
2 apples, cored and cubed, sliced or shredded, as you prefer
2 handfuls butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 handfuls pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 handful basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon walnut, hazelnut or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground coriander
fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400F. Line the bottom of a baking tray with parchment paper. Add a dollop of ghee and place in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt the ghee.
Cut the stems and tails off the beets. Pull the baking tray from the oven. Place the beets in the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roll around to cover in ghee. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Peel the garlic and after those 20 minutes, toss with the beets and roast an additional 15 minutes, or until beets and garlic are cooked through.
Meanwhile, slice/shred the apples and place in a salad serving bowl. Remove the beets from the oven. Toss with apple slices. As the apples warm and the beets cool, toast your pumpkin and fennel seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Give the pan a few good swirls and shakes to brown evenly. As soon as the seeds begin to pop turn off the heat. Leave the pan for a moment to allow the seeds to continue to roast.
Take one of the cloves of garlic and fork mash it in a small glass jar. Add to that the orange juice, oil, coriander and pepper. Shake until well combined. Taste, and adjust. Add pink salt if needed.
Once the apples are warm, slice the beets and slightly mash the garlic. Toss the butter lettuce in with the beets, apple and garlic. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with basil and toasted seeds.