The Danish Christmas dinner usually features a series of meaty dishes such as roasted duck or pork with gravy along with heavy side dishes of boiled and sugar coated potatoes, and pickled red cabbage.
In other words, green salads and similar light dishes have no place on the traditional Danish Christmas dinner table.
This has however not always been true in Camilla’s family; while her dad is a seasoned hunter with a love for those juicy and freshly shot ducks he brought home himself, her mom prefers to stick with the greens and alternative sources of protein. So when it comes to the topic of the Christmas dinner, creative alternatives has been introduced. One of the returning classics is a green and fresh salad that may serve as a main dish for the ‘herbivores’ and as a side dish for the ‘omnivores’.
This year we are introducing this green ‘Winter salad’, which we have come to love during the past months; it features baked root vegetables, quinoa, tahini dressing, pomegranate seeds, and roasted almonds, and it is both filling and light, making it the perfect choice for a main dish as well as a side dish – not just for the Christmas dinner, really, but for any dinner this Winter.
Green Winter Salad
(Makes 4 servings as main course)
125 ml / ½ cup uncooked quinoa(we used white quinoa)
6 stalks kale
500 g parsnips
450 g sweet potatoes
2 generous tbsp raisins (we used yellow raisins)
3 tbsp roasted almonds
Seeds of ¼ pomegranate
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp dried rosemary
Salt & pepper
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp honey
1 tsbp lemon juice
1 tsbp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Add quinoa and 250 ml water in a small pot. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is tender and has ‘small tails’. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Chop the parsnips and sweet potatoes into pieces of approx. 2 x 2 cm / 1 x 1 inch. Toss with olive oil, cinnamon and rosemary. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until tender.
Remove the rough stem from the kale and pull the kale into smaller pieces. Combine all the ingredients for the tahini dressing and ‘massage’ the kale with the tahini dressing until it is tender. Toss with finely chopped parsley, cooked quinoa, baked parsnips and sweet potatoes, raisins, roasted almonds, and pomegranate seeds.