I love salads year round but one has to be creative to make up something suitable to the mood & the weather while making the best of what produce is available at any given time. This recipe is fantastic as a fresh autumn or winter salad: it is crunchy, colourful and satisfying. It can easily be turned into a meal as it has all the required components of a complete diet: vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein & vegetable fat.
I am adding an unusual twist here: I am using the Smoked Kelp instead of salt or any other seasoning. It is a lovely vegetarian alternative to bacon for those who like the smoked flavour in food.
The kelp used in this recipe is harvested from the Wairarapa coast in the North Island of New Zealand. The Maori name means “Glistening Waters”. Wairarapa is an hour’s drive north of Wellington, tucked away in the south-east corner of the North Island. It is a region of big skies, wide valleys and small towns, full of character as it is bordered by the rugged Tararua Mountains to the west and the wild Pacific Ocean to the east. Wairarapa’s natural resources reflect New Zealand’s clean, green reputation around the world. Its unspoiled land, air and water, along with resourcefulness of the people, create products of quality and purity rarely found.
Thinking ‘kelp’ is like thinking ‘apple’ – there are several varieties to choose from.
This variety of Kelp (Ecklonia radiata) is recognized by connoisseurs for its taste and relative softness. We use both the leaves (called ‘blades’ or ‘fronds’) and the stem (called ‘stipe’) in order to get the best concentration in nutrients and the ‘speckled look’ that chefs are keen on.
The seaweed is collected during a storm as we are not allowed to cut it. It is then sorted, washed (in seawater to preserve the mineral content) and dried by the natural action of the wind. The seaweed is naturally dried on racks, turned meticulously to get all moisture out and then packed for milling. This must all be done as soon as it is collected in order to preserve the quality of the nutrients. Often these tasks have to be done when a storm is still going full force, requiring great commitment from the harvesters.
Kelp is a ‘must’ for people who need additional iodine. Follow this link to find out about the virtues of kelp.
In this recipe we will use the Smoked Kelp instead of salt or any other seasoning; it is a lovely vegetarian alternative to bacon for those who like the smoked flavour in food. It is particularly good with eggs or as a salad condiment.
Smoked kelp is just naturally dried kelp granules smoked the traditional way with manuka wood, a native tree from New Zealand.
This process gives the kelp a lovely warm brown colour and a very special flavour! Nothing is added (no flavour, no essence), and nothing is lost!
Try find the new varieties of beetroot now available in gourmet supermarkets.
They come in a range of colours and make the salad even more appetising for the eyes !
2 red skinned apples, cored & finely sliced
juice of one lemon
2 cups baby rocket leaves, washed & dried
2 small bulbs fennel, finely sliced
6 baby beetroot, cooked & cut into wedges
1 cup mint leaves, finely sliced
1 tsp Pacific Harvest Smoked Kelp
½ cup firm goat feta, cut into tiny cubes
½ red onion thinly sliced (optional)
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Cathedral Cove macadamia oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the apple slices and brush with lemon juice to prevent browning. In a large bowl, toss together the rocket, fennel, beetroot, apple, half the mint and half the smoked kelp seasoning and onion.
Make the vinaigrette by shaking together all the ingredients in a jar.
Sprinkle the cubed feta with the remaining Smoked Kelp onto the salad.
Toss with the dressing just before serving.
Divide the salad into individual plates and scatter with remaining mint.
Serve with crostinis.
(Inspired from Cuisine, May 2007)
Smoked kelp is a great substitute for bacon in recipes. It is a great addition to egg dishes, mushrooms, potatoes & cabbage family recipes, a tasty rub for fish & pork, and an especially versatile salad condiment. It adds a mild smoked flavour and a lovely warm brown colour.
Smoked kelp is a positive alternative to salt as it tastes naturally salty with less sodium than salt. Kelp has a number of very important wellness characteristics beside the iodine content. Find out more about iodine and the salt controversy.