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Antioxidant Rainbow Salad with Feta and Dates

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Got a stubborn section of red cabbage in the bottom of the fridge? Make this.

Summer berries get a lot of good press when it comes to anti-aging, but old red cabbage is cut from the same antioxidant cloth (the clue is in the colour) which means outrageous amounts of Vitamin A and C to keep skin young and immunity high. Fennel contains it’s own unique antioxidants, whilst soothing inflammation and the digestive system. And parsley? Well it has magical detoxifying properties, and damn that herb has phtyonutrients.

This salad is moreish, complex and fresh, with sweet, nutty hits. Perfect as an original and skin-boosting alternative to coleslaw.

Ingredients

  • ¼ head of red cabbage
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsely
  • 3 oranges
  • 10 dates (harder, drier dates work best here)
  • 10 stalks of thyme (it’s worth getting the fresh stuff over dried)
  • 150g of good quality feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • A handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds, toasted

Outsource the chopping.

I recommend outsourcing the fine slicing to a food processor’s blade. You can also use a large knife. Start with the fennel bulb– the red cabbage will make everything it touches the colour of Barney the Dinosaur. Squeeze half a lemon over the fennel immediately to stop browning and set aside. Follow with a quarter of red cabbage.

Manage your herbs.

If you’re in a hurry, slice the leafy end of your bunch of parsley from the stalks and roughly chop. If you’re feeling fancy, pick the leaves from the stalks. Take each thyme stalk and draw your fingers backward along the stalk to remove the leaves. Roughly chop the thyme.

Orange is the new orange.

On a large chopping board, top and tail the 3 oranges to create a flat base. Using a large, sharp knife, pare away the rind in a downward motion, removing as much of the white pith from each orange as you can. Quarter and thinly slice the flesh, setting aside any orange juices that have run onto the chopping board.

Date night.

Quarter the dates and slice thinly. You want little tiny jewels of sweetness that will mix throughout the entire salad.

Make the dressing.

Crush your garlic clove and mix with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp honey, and the excess orange juices, season generously with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

My slaw of many colours.

Now the fun part: Gently combine the fennel, red cabbage, sliced oranges, parsley, thyme, dates and sesame seeds with your dressing. Crumble the feta on top and scatter with toasted pumpkin seeds. A sprig or two of thyme anoints this salad perfectly.

This salad was originally inspired by a recipe from British fresh food champion, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Thanks Hugh.

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