Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Salad

It can be tough to "eat your greens" this time of year, especially if you happen to have locavore tendencies and live in Canada. Not that I have anything against meat, mind you, I just get that verge-of-scurvy feeling every now and then and need to come up with some kind of fresh veggie dish fast.

This one comes from Olives & oranges (the irony is thick following the locavore comment above, I know) by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox. How could I resist a cookbook by someone named Mindy? I also like how the subtitle is "Recipes & flavor secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus & beyond" -- very Buzz Lightyear. It happens to be very nice, with great photos and some inspiring recipies like this one, which was called winter root salad with English farmhouse cheddar. Don't worry if you're low on English farmhouse cheddar (or roots for that matter) -- you can make do like me.

The recipe calls for half a small red cabbage (which I had), a celery root and some radishes (which I didn't), two carrots (which I did), an apple (ditto), and some parsley (you know me and parsley -- I skipped it). You'll also need some salt, pepper if you like, and some fine vinegar and olive oil. If you want a little garnish, some toasted pepitas or pecans would be a nice addition.

I hauled out my trusty mandoline for this job, since the cabbage needs fine slicing and the other vegetables need to be julienned (you can grate them if you don't have a trusty mandoline). Slice the cabbage first. This one has been rolling around in the bottom of my fridge since October which, if you ask me, is totally awe inspiring.

My mandoline comes with these little combs that can be put in for making julienned vegetables. I went with the 4mm comb, and sliced up the carrots next. (This is a good way to get rid of the big fat carrot they usually stick in the bag somewhere.)

Put the carrots and cabbage in a bowl and add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and mix it all around with your hands. Let that sit for around 5 minutes while you do the other stuff. If you use celery root and radishes they should be put in the bowl at the same time as the cabbage and carrot. The salt will season them, and wilt them a little so they aren't so raw and crunchy.

Next in should be your cheese. The recipe says to crumble in about 5 oz of old cheddar. I didn't have any, so I grated up some pecorino romano instead (oops, locavore goes out the window!).

Finally, put your julienned apple in there (pick a tart one if you can like a Mac or russet or Granny Smith) and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of wine (or, if you're like me, sherry) vinegar. Mix it all up with your hands, but not too much or the cabbage will make everything all purple, and...

...serve! Those are good eats, and it shore is purty! Scurvy has been kept at bay for another day!


  1. October!!!!! Awe-inspiring is right - awesome!!

  2. I know. It probably would have lasted forever! (If I hadn't eaten it.)