Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two winter salads

It's spring here in the Valley, no doubt about it. It's raining and warm, and there are daffodils and tulips blooming. I hear from a friend on her food blog that she's already foraging fiddleheads, but the only local, spring food I've had yet this season were some spring-dug parsnips. (Don't even bother looking for them; they're all gone from the stores, now.)

I'm not 100% locavore, but I try to make local foods as large a part of our diet as I can. In the winter, I buy salad greens, even knowing they were grown far away. I've wanted to replace these salads with ones made from the vegetables that I get in my winter farm share. These two recipes are keepers, and I'm sharing them here so I can find them again next winter. They're tasty, and good foils for the rich, fatty meats I like to make in the winter.

My winter share had already run out by the time I found this elegant French salad. I bought the (local) celeriac to make this celeriac remoulade when I read about it on a charcuterie blog another of my foodie co-op friends turned me on to. I'd never had it or heard of it, but I like celeriac, and homemade mayonnaise, so I gave it a try and was glad I did. The Piment d'Espelette can be hard to find, but I was able to get a little jar at Cooks Shop Here in Northampton. It's worth seeking out, but if you need to make a substitution, you can sprinkle a little paprika instead.

Celeriac remoulade

The other winter salad that I discovered late in the season is this slaw dressed with a lime-cumin dressing. I like the colors and flavors of this vegetable combination, but I think any vegetable you might shred into slaw would taste good in this dressing. I might try it with radishes, or jicama.

Slaw with Lime-Cumin Dressing

One small head of red cabbage, just over a pound
About a pound of carrots
One clove of garlic
1/4 tsp salt
Two limes
1/8 cup finely diced onion, scallion, or shallot
One jalapeño
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  1. Shred the cabbage and carrots: I use a food processor for this.
  2. Peel and press the garlic clove, then mash it with the salt.
  3. Zest the limes, then juice them.
  4. Trim and finely dice the jalapeño. For a less spicy dressing, carefully remove all of the white parts of the pepper and all of the seeds. For more kick, keep the white parts and a few seeds.
  5. Beat the garlic, salt, lime zest and juice, onion, jalapeño, dry spices, and olive oil together. Add the mixture with the cilantro to the shredded cabbage and carrots, and toss until thoroughly mixed. Serve right away, or refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors marry and the vegetables soften slightly.

Dinner: potatoes au gratin, ham, pineapple and fresh dates, and slaw with lime-cumin dressing

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