Throughout 2017, we hammered on the science-based health benefits of eating beets, kale, and broccoli, discussed different modalities for getting our greens, and even discussed whether eating greens is healthful for dogs and cats.
Now, it’s 2018, and it’s time to talk inclusivity.
This year, my family and I will once again eat everything: the stems, leaves, and fronds (as well as the ends, rinds and peels!). As multi-generational California farmers, we’ve watched the industry favor the floret, the flesh, and the fruit for years―only to turn around and applaud those who eat “ugly” veggies and “scraps.”
We’re not into name-calling; we believe there’s no such thing as an ugly or imperfect vegetable. We just like to eat wholesome, nutrient-dense, organic food from root to shoot.
A great way to kick the year off with this no-veggie-part-left-behind philosophy is with a dish that makes the most of its ingredients. By including broccoli stems, fennel fronds, bread loaf ends and beet greens, this wintry root-to-stem salad packs in nutrients, minimizes food waste, is inexpensive to prepare and tastes delicious. I mean, really? This salad should win an award, and we think you’ll agree.
Root to Shoot Salad
- 1 bunch kale, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces, stems coarsely chopped
- 2 large beets, greens reserved, beets peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 4 slices bread (preferably from the end of the loaf), cubed to 1 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound broccoli, trimmed of woody pieces, florets and stems coarsely chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, cut into eighths and fronds reserved for garnish
- 1/4 cup roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place kale leaves and beet greens in a large bowl and massage with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon orange juice until leaves are tender. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add whole garlic cloves and cook for 3-5 minutes or until oil is fragrant, tossing frequently. Remove garlic and set aside. Add cubed bread to oil, toss to lightly coat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let cook for 2 minutes, toss again, cook another 2 minutes, and continue until bread begins to crisp, about 10-12 minutes total. Once crispy, set aside.
On a large sheet pan, toss kale stems, broccoli florets and stems, chopped fennel, and beets with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast 40 minutes in preheated oven, stirring once.
Add cooled roasted vegetables to the bowl of kale leaves and beet greens. Finely chop the reserved garlic and add to the bowl, along with seeds, cheese, and nutritional yeast. Add orange zest and croutons, toss well to combine, and garnish with snipped fennel fronds to serve.