Massaged Greens & Fennel Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Massaged Greens Salad with Fennel and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.jpg

For years I wondered what the hype was about “massaged greens”….heck I barely get massaged myself, why on earth do GREENS get the royal treatment? Well, let me tell you why….

Massaged greens are freaking amazing. That’s why. You get all the flavor of the green, in it’s most raw form but without the wilting of applying heat to them. The action of massaging them with a bit of oil and acid (here, lemon juice) tenderizes the green while still leaving it hearty. I massage my greens for 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the leaf…for example, a less-hearty leaf like spinach may be around 3 minutes, but Collard Greens are the big boys of Greens-ville so I’ll go for 5 minutes but I ALSO allow them to sit with the vinaigrette on them for a few extra minutes.

And don’t forget, the Almond Ricotta here is an AIP Reintroduction, so simply leave it out if you need to! The salad stands on it’s own without it so you won’t be missing out!

 •1 medium sweet potato, sliced in 1/4” thick pieces
•1 tbsp coconut oil
•1 tsp sea salt
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp onion powder
•1 medium bunch Collard Greens
•Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette (below)
•1 bulb of fennel
•4 strips uncured bacon, cooked and crumbled
•Fennel fronds (the green frilly parts)
•Optional: almond ricotta 

  1. Preheat oven to 400

  2. Toss the sweet potato slices with the coconut oil and seasonings. Place in an oven safe dish and bake until tender and just beginning to brown (approx 40 mnts).

  3. Cut the stems from the collard green leaves.

  4. Drizzle about 2 tsp of vinaigrette onto each leaf (depending on size). Massage the vinaigrette into each leaf until they begin to “absorb” it and soften. The leaves will continue to soften the longer the vinaigrette sets on them (even after slicing them, next step!).

  5. Roll each leaf from the stem end to the tip. Make vertical slices through the rolled leaves on each side of the large vein in the center of the leaf, cutting it into pieces.

  6. Slice the fennel bulb in half, then cur each half into 1/4 inch or thinner slices.

  7. Combine the greens, fennel, and bacon in a mixing bowl. Add additional vinaigrette to your desired taste, beginning with 1 tbsp.

  8. Top with the sweet potatoes and optional almond ricotta

  9. Garnish with fennel fronds by using scissors to cut a bit from the stems.