Warm fennel & pear salad with nuts and a creamy poppy seed dressing
Autumn is my favourite season. Even though it’s not on us just yet, I’m already day dreaming about it… the clement weather, the nutty fragrance of wood smoke, the harvest festivals and nature’s palette of reds, oranges and browns. But most of all I look forward to the new season’s edible produce and the prospect of cooking up an autumnal storm!
This salad makes a healthy lunch for two and the flavours compliment each other perfectly.
Here’s a low-down on some of the ingredients:
Fennel and pear make a perfect combination in a dish. Spinach is a fantastic source of vitamin C, protein and iron. Cashew nuts have an inherent creaminess which is a perfect base for a dairy-free savoury dressing. You have to make it to believe that it really doesn’t have any dairy in it. Hazelnuts have a high amount of vitamin E. Poppy Seeds are rich in B-complex vitamins and minerals.
- 250g baby spinach leaves
- 2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
- 100g hazelnuts or walnuts (or a mix!)
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- 100g cashews, soaked for a few hours
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 125ml filtered water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Combine all the ingredients into a high-speed blender
- Stir in the poppy seeds and put to one side.
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and add the sliced fennel, cook for a few minutes, whilst stirring until slightly brown.
- Add a pinch of salt
- When the fennel is crispy and brown it’s done.
- To arrange salad, share the spinach amongst two plates.
- Arrange the pear and fennel on top.
- Top with hazelnuts and drizzle with the creamy dressing.