After a wonderful summer of traveling, chilling on the beach of Langkawi, tasting new food, indulging myself in mum’s amazing food and learning to cook Malaysian cuisine, I’ve been back in Leipzig for about a month and a half now. It seems like I blinked and missed September all together and, although I have been cooking a lot, for some reason I haven’t been keeping up with my new recipes on this little space of mine. So, here I am, after almost a three month interlude.
Today was market day. There are gorgeous apples everywhere these days. Fennel bulbs of all sizes seem to be having its high point, as the morning air becomes crisp. I bought my first bunch of kale the other day, and now I finally feel the change of season. My boyfriend’s parents have a big walnut tree in their beautiful garden, and every October, they bring a big bag full of walnuts for us.(shelled! I’m eternally grateful.) Today for lunch, I have decided that all these amazing autumn ingredients call for a little celebration to welcome the new season. This simple slaw is dead easy to make, especially if you have a mandolin slicer at home. Otherwise, a very sharp knife will do the job of slicing the fennel bulb wafer thin. If you can’t find kale, I think a bulb of radicchio could work in a pinch. The slight bitterness would well compliment the sweet-sourness of a crisp new season’s apple.
I hope all of you had a lovely summer/winter, depending on which hemisphere you live in. xo-A.
Kale, Fennel, and Apple Slaw
*If you are using radicchio instead, as I suggested in the intro, you won’t need to massage the leaves. Just toss all the ingredients with the dressing.
5 meidum-large kale leaves
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 small handful walnuts, toasted
1 small fennel bulb, sliced wafer-thin, if possible
1/2 crisp new season apple, sliced very thinly
For the dressing,
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1.5 tsp walnut oil
3 tsp rapeseed oil or mild-tasting olive oil
A splash of maple syrup
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 tsp salt to taste, and a few grinds of pepper
1. First, pick off the leaves off the kale, leaving the tough stalks in your compost bin. Give them a good wash. Squeeze out the water with your hands, and chop the leaves finely. In a big salad bowl, add the kale, along with the apple cider vinegar and salt. Get your clean hands in there and massage the kale for about 2-3 minutes until the leaves are welted. Leave to stand for about 30 mins.
2. Preheat the oven to 150 deg celsius, place the walnuts in the oven for about 8-10 mins until they are nicely toasted. Do check after 6 minute mark to see if they aren’t burning. Transfer the walnuts to a plate and cool until ready to use.
3. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing until well emulsified.
4. Add the fennel and apple slices to the kale. Add about 3/4 of the dressing and mix well with two forks. Check to see if the slaw needs some more dressing. Scatter the toasted walnuts and serve immediately.