Meet the Detox Salad! So called NOT because it is sold in overpriced containers, and sprinkled with imported dried fruit. (Goji berries? Really?)
This Detox Salad is so called because it is loaded with vegetables that are extra good for your liver… AND tastes good enough to be ‘not that terrible’ a thing to have to eat, after doing a noteworthy stint of doing all sorts of terrible things to your liver. In fact it tastes pretty fantastic.
This is good because, really, who wants to start work after a weekend of cava and buffet sausages, by eating lettuce and over-priced berries!?
Calorie deficits like that scream out for 4pm snickers, and then you are right back where you started … (minus £5 and probably a little shaky).
Make this salad instead!
This salad is seriously one of my favourite combinations, and I’m especially keen on the slightly caramelised aspect of the roasted vegetables. And thats coming from someone who’s not generally a ‘very big fan’ of fennel at all.
Normally, I’m not very in to calling salads things like ‘detox salad’ …or ‘smooth skin salad’ or ‘hear better salad’ or whatever. The truth is all vegetables are good for you (ALL of them!). Its important to eat a range from different groups, but there is no need to get tied up in the specifics. Personally, I used to love knowing that carotenes were protective against skin cancer, or that blueberries were great for ‘bright eyes!’. But I’m such a high expectations/ loophole seeker that soon enough I was doing things like eating lots of butternut squash, instead of wearing sunscreen… or picking at avocadoes and awaiting my skincare modelling contract.
You can imagine what an easy child I was to raise.
I do make an exception for this salad! Artichokes really are wonderful for your liver, and the extract has been proven to both protect and regenerate the liver. Artichoke extract is up there with milk thistle, as a highly protective herb that has long been used in the treatment of hepatitis. Fennel is also exceptionally good for your liver, and watercress is loaded with chlorophyll ….. which evidence suggests is not only great for the liver, but also helps to cleanse the blood.
Its a hat trick of a salad.
Plus, this salad is loaded with protein from the feta and one of your livers many other jobs is to break down proteins to ensure you are getting a steady supply. Eating protein at regular intervals throughout the day makes your livers job easier, as well as just helping you to feel your best.
(In view of my dubious butternut squash history, I’d like to make it clear I am NOT saying you should eat this salad, and consume 3 bottles of cava per night. This is less ‘insurance’, and more of a mini ‘carbon offset’. Eat it in the same way as you use expensive conditioner when frying your hair with straightening irons. Every little helps!)
This salad is also extra special right now, because fennel and watercress and rosemary are ALL in season for the festive period!
It’s as if God knew!
ARTICHOKE AND FENNEL SALAD
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 1 tin artichokes hearts (or hearts defrosted from frozen – you’ll want about eight)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sprig rosemary
- Juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon (zest optional)
- 4 handfuls of watercress
- 1 -2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 100g feta cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 170
- Chop the fennel by removing the centre bulb and then slicing very thin. Chop rosemary.
- Drain artichoke hearts and chop in half. Place in a bowl, adding the sliced fennel and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season WELL and add chopped rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest (if using). Toss to coat.
- Spread out vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil and bake at 170 for 18 – 20 minutes, until they start to brown. You can also grill for even more favourable results (it’s more time consuming though!).
- Whilst the veggies are roasting chop the watercress finely and place in the large bowl. Dress with balsamic and remaining oil
- Allow veggies to cool slightly and then tip into bowl. Toss with finely chopped watercress, balsamic vinegar and the remaining oil. You can also add a bit more lemon juice at this point if you like.
- Divide between two plates and top with crumbled feta cheese. Enjoy!
Healthify It: I’ve got nothing against cheese, but some people don’t like to eat or can’t. The vegetables taste great on their own, and would go really well with fish. Walnuts or roasted tomatoes would make a good sub for the feta cheese.
Indulgify It: Technically, there is no such thing as too much feta cheese. We usually have 100g each with this if I’m honest… Also, add some walnut bread. Or use as a pizza topping!