25 Sept 2015

Three ingredients for a quick and easy warm autumn salad

I'm a big fan of warm salads and love kale for its many nutritional benefits (as well as being really tasty!) so this recipe is an autumn go-to, especially as I have most of the ingredients growing in the garden. (Pine nuts and pumpkin seeds being the exception.)

I make this Warm Carrot, Apple + Crispy Kale salad for supper regularly, adding a few freshly picked lettuce leaves from my balcony around the edge for added garden goodness. (It's also very good over basmati rice.)  It takes next to no time and - oh my goodness! - is spoon licking good.

It's so yummy that I usually scrape every last morsel from the roasting pan- but confess that I love the taste of aniseed so have tweaked the recipe to include fennel seeds (also growing in the garden and dried for winter use at the end of the year).

When I first made the dish, I added pumpkin seeds and pine nuts instead of the suggested mixed seeds (they were all I had) and I used fresh plump fennel seeds from the garden instead of dried.  I also used my whirly apple corer gadget to make rings which I sliced instead of laboriously peeling and making matchsticks out of an apple. (I love a bit of time saving, especially when hungry.)

I've also made it with extra heat by adding finely chopped red chillies and some finely chopped fresh ginger batons, and served with a poached egg on top.  I've also topped with grated cheddar, added chunks of feta cheese and sprinkled the egg with dried chillies ... although not all at once. I think this is one of those dishes that can be chopped and changed, quantities and ingredients, to suit.

Confession - there are, of course, more than just three ingredients in this recipe but I've focused on the main ones because they're available from the garden in the Autumn.

Here's my version of the recipe:

Warm carrot, apple + crispy kale salad 

(Prep 15 mins, cook 15-20 mins) (Roughly, serves 2 or 1 greedy person 😉)

Carrots - 3 med-large, peeled and cut into 6cm batons
Kale (curly or Cavolo Nero) - 4 good sized stalks
Apples - 3 medium (I grow Braeburn)3 teaspoons of fresh fennel seeds (or 1tsp dried fennel seeds)
2 Tbsp oil (olive, rapeseed, etc)
50g mixed seeds or nuts (I use 25g pumpkin seeds + 25g pine nuts)
A good drizzle of olive oil
Tamari soy sauce (optional or use ordinary soy sauce)
Seasoning (salt + pepper)

1.  Preheat oven to 180C, gas 4. Place carrots in a bowl and toss with the rapeseed oil and fennel seeds to coat.  Spread them out on a large roasting tin and roast for 5 minutes, then add the mixed seeds (or whatever you're using) and roast for a further 2-3 minutes until toasted and golden.
2. Add the chopped kale leaves (stalks discarded), toss with the carrots and seeds.  I drizzled more olive oil over the kale at this stage plus a drizzle of Tamari soy sauce and a grinding of black pepper.  Roast for a further 6 minutes until beginning to crisp.
3. Add the sliced apple rings, toss with other ingredients and pop back in the oven for two minutes.
4. Remove from oven, dish up and eat - on it's own, with a salad or as a side for a bigger meal. 

Do you like the sound of this recipe?  (Download the pdf here.)
Have you got any go-to favourites for your autumn garden produce? Share, please! 


  1. This looks delicious, their recipes are often my go to, for something tasty. Last weekend I made the waitrose recipe for Pork with pears and thyme and perry gravy. I can thoroughly recommend that one too.

    1. Ooh, I missed that one - it sounds delicious and, again, I have pears and thyme in the garden! Thank you, will check it out!

  2. Mmm, that sounds utterly delicious, I could eat a bowl of that very happily right now. I'm making a note of the recipe. CJ xx

    1. You can download my pdf of the recipe by clicking on the link, CJ. Hand on heart, I found this a truly delicious meal. C xx

  3. My favourite squash recipe is from an old Waitrose magazine but it is available on line and uses squash, borlotti beans, onion, garlic and tomatoes - all from the allotment. The only shop bought items are oil (I use rapeseed oil from Sussex) and chorizo (I buy it pre-cubed from the cook's ingredients range at Waitrose and just use half the pack so only a fraction of what the recipe calls using it for its smoky flavouring rather than a main ingredient and have substituted paprika for a vegetarian version). I serve it with brown rice and it is even nicer the next day. I love warm salads too and will definitely try your dish.

    1. Gosh, I love the sound of your recipe, it's just the kind of food I like to eat and perfect for veg growers at this time of year. I'll definitely be trying yours! My son is a big fan of chorizo so I usually have a sausage in the fridge (thank you, Lidl) that I can slice up for meals or snacking and I find brown rice (or other grains) really sustaining all through the year. Thanks, Sarah! x

  4. Sounds great and I have lots of curly kale. I cooked some yesterday after tearing the leaves from the stalk before cooking it and it was sweet and delicious. The stem is too tough so that's going to be my method from now on.

    1. Curly kale is the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it! I've used it steamed, stir fried and roasted, also given loads away to neighbours, but there's still loads. I love it so I'm not complaining but am pleased to find another recipe that I enjoy with kale as a main ingredient. I chop the stem up into small chunks for stir fries.

  5. That all looks, and sounds, delicious. Flighty xx

  6. Yummy, recipe duly downloaded, though I managed to fail to get my kale to germinate, currently eyeing up little seedlings wondering if they will do anything in time to plant out...

  7. I love warm salads, any time of the year! especially with roasted veg;i would be scrapign the pan too :-)

  8. Oh....how heavenly, I shall certainly give that a go! Thanks for sharing.xxx


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