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How to make crunchy Swedish winter salad

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How to make crunchy Swedish winter salad
Green kale salad with toasted hazelnuts. Photo: John Duxbury
07:00 CET+01:00
Still in a food coma after the holidays? Culinary writer John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe for a Swedish winter salad, which uses raw kale to create a lovely light meal full of flavour.

Summary

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

Ingredients

40 g (3 tbsp) blanched hazelnuts

200 g (8 cups) kale leaves

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp good quality olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

100 g (½ cup) raisins (or black grapes, halved)

40 g (1 ¾ oz) Västerbottensost (a traditional Swedish cheese. If you can't find it, use Parmesan or Pecorino cheese instead)

Method

1. Pre-heat an oven to 180C.

2. Spread the whole hazelnuts, in a single layer, evenly over a baking tray. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are a nice golden brown colour.

3. Meanwhile, discard the stems of the kale, chop or tear the leaves and place in a large bowl.

4. Add the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Massage the leaves with your fingers for 3-5 minutes, until they are tenderized. Taste to check that they are no longer bitter.

5. Add the raisins, toss thoroughly and transfer to a serving dish.

6. Roughly crush the toasted hazelnuts and add to the salad.

7. Shave the cheese and add to the salad. Serve immediately, although it does keep well for an hour or two.

Tips

- Kale can be blanched to use in a salad, but we recommend massaging it instead between your fingers for a few minutes to break down the tough cellulose structure. You will notice it is happening as the kale will go a darker shade of green and will shrink a bit. If you taste it, you will find it is no longer bitter.

- Use the recipe above as a starting point, adapting it to what is seasonal and readily available. For instance, add some blanched stem broccoli and apple instead of the raisins and cheese.

- For a little more colour, add pomegranate kernels.

- Massaged kale also goes well with dried cranberries and roasted cashew nuts. For 200 g of kale, roast 60 g of cashew nuts for 10-15 minutes and add to kale with 60 g of dried cranberries.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.

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