It may be counter-intuitive, but autumn and winter are my favourite salad-making seasons. Hearty greens, such as kale, hold up well to punchy salad dressings and give lots of crunchy texture. This salad is a perfect canvas for other ingredients, too – whether parmesan or feta, almonds instead of pine nuts, or even protein in the form of wild salmon or chicken. It's salty, sweet, crunchy and bright – everything you need to keep you going through the colder months.
100g curly kale, washed and finely sliced
70g thinly sliced celery (about 2 pale yellow stalks)
200g cauliflower (about ¼ head)
25g pine nuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
40g pepita (pumpkin) seeds
1 tsp olive oil
10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
For the dressing
1 garlic clove, peeled
30g eschalot (French shallots), peeled and roughly chopped
20ml white wine vinegar
30ml lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
20ml lime juice (about 1 lime)
70ml olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender with a good pinch of salt and cracked black pepper, and blend on high until totally smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale and celery. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting off the very tiny florets and finely chopping the stalks. The idea is to make pieces no bigger than a pea. Add the dressing and a good pinch of salt and massage into the greens. Set aside.
3. Preheat your oven to 170C fan-forced (180C conventional). Combine the pine nuts, sesame seeds and pepita seeds and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle on a tray lined with baking paper and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. Add the toasted nuts and seeds, sultanas and chopped mint leaves to the salad and toss to combine. Taste to check for seasoning and adjust as required.