Coleslaw Salad with Peanuts and Lime Dressing

I have been out of commission for the last 2 weeks. Not by choice… actually I had no choice, no power, and no heat due to Hurricane Sandy. I am sure you have heard of this notorious hurricane that moved slowly across the eastern seaboard only to collide with a No’easter. Long Island was in the dark.
It knocked nearly all electric out for 2 weeks. While I am grateful, we got the power restored and my home is intact, during that entire time I did not cook. So, my diet was a bit haphazard due to my disorientation of this whole ordeal.

My CSA along the eastern tip of Long Island somehow managed to deliver fresh produce to my garage, which is the central depot in my area. Their thinking was that so many people who like me were on a poor diet for the last 2 weeks could use a boost of healthy organic produce. They were right.

So this week, among the wide assortment of vegetables, I made this quick and easy salad made from cabbage and cilantro. It’s Indian inspired and in South India, they eat a variation of this salad cooked. If you though that coleslaw was a german side to a tripple decker pastrami sandwich, know that the Indians thought of it first.

The easiest way to cut up cabbage is to cut it up into cubes and then toss in the food processor to grate. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always practice your knife skills slowly and methodically cutting the cabbage into fine ribbons.

Coleslaw Salad with Peanuts and Lime Dressing
Serves 6 


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups unsalted raw peanuts
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 basket of tiny cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon + fine-grain sea salt
Directions:
  1. In a skillet or oven (350F) roast the peanuts for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice along the way, until golden and toasted.
  2. Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half. Combine the cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt. Add to the cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Just before serving toss in the peanuts to retain their crunch. Taste and adjust the flavor with more salt if needed.

Lemon Zested Kale Salad with Pecorino Cheese

I think kale is the quintessential vegetable that leads people to associate it with an organic lifestyle…. if that means meditating, chanting, vegetarianism- it’s just all healthy and environmentally friendly. Probably every vegetarian organic restaurant I have ever been to features kale on the menu- and it’s no wonder, as it has a strong dose of anti oxidants which has anti cancer properties.

Usually I eat kale steamed with potatoes and create a curry dish tossing some spices and onions together in the pan. However, this past week, my CSA delivered tender kale greens which forms the perfect background layer to this intense salad that is combined with the strong flavored ingredients of dry-roasted slivered  almonds, red pepper flakes, and a simple lemon with olive oil dressing. This has become one of my FAVORITE salads because it has all the things I love in a salad- crunch, cheese and mostly satisfying.

The salad calls for just a handful of ingredients, but they all deliver. Simple, but special- just use fresh and the best. It’s a salad I throw together for a light dinner, but also something I can make for friends or family when they come over on the spur.

This recipe has been inspired by Melissa Clark’s In The Kitchen with a Good Appetite

 Ingredients

1 bunch Tuscan kale
1/2 garlic clove or 1 garlic scape
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
1/2 toasted slivered almonds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic or garlic scape and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the toasted slivered almonds, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Purple Cabbage and Clementine Salad

Purple Cabbage salad courtesy of Devlyn’s Photostream (www.SomethingClever.net)

Just as the waning days of summer are winding down, my CSA delivered a cute little red cabbage. Raw and shredded and dressed with sweet clementines and currants makes for a perfect summer salad that is perfect for large crowds.

The peppy dressing does not cover up the beautiful bold colors of this salad. If you have a food processor with a shredding and slicing disc, this really couldn’t be easier to make. Without it it’s pretty east too, so don’t worry – as a sharp knife will suffice.
A colorful, crunchy purple cabbage salad that is accented with cranberries (or currants of your choice) and clementines, both of which are loaded with the disease-fighting antioxidants. It has a zesty, fresh personality and the citrusy dressing is quite a peppy blend, as well. This is one of my special occasion salads for large crowds; they always ask for more.
Serves 8

Ingredients

 Salad
3 clementines
1 medium purple cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups) or 2 (16 ounce) package shredded purple cabbage
cup pine nuts
2 carrots, shredded
1 to 2 handfuls of dried cranberries, or to taste
cup chopped scallions
Clementine Dressing
4 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Reserved clementine juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Working over a bowl, peel the clementines, separate the segments and remove any white pith. Reserve any juice that falls into the bowl. Place the clementine segments, cabbage, pine nuts, carrots, cranberries, and scallions in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the dressing: in a cruet or jar with a lid, mix the brown sugar, oil, vinegar, juice, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Close tightly and shake until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate For up to 1 hour before serving.

Zucchini & Mushroom Salad in Chili Lime Dressing

Just came back from Europe- was in Amsterdam and Berlin. Amsterdam is a beautiful city with over 100 canals where homes- as old as from the 1600’s were built on the canals. Amsterdam was not always a city of canals- it’s reclaimed land from the ocean. To keep up with the growing demand of the ever growing population during the Golden Ages, Amsterdam had to build out.

Berlin….. is another story. Trying to encapsulate the feeling of Berlin is a bit difficult. It’s not a particularly beautiful city- there is a certain dreary feeling. After WW II, the U.S. flattened most of the city. So what remains are some historical places- in German called PLATZ. The University where Albert Einstein went to college is still a sought after university. All the statues are still intact. Sadly, the largest synagogue in Germany was burnt down, but what does remain is the facade and inside in a museum of what was. Most of the city has been built up and parts of it look like a throw back to the 1950’s.

So I came home this past Friday which is after my CSA delivery on Wednesday. When ever I go away, I make sure to arrange for my share to be donated. As I came home to no food from my summer crop, I had to scrape a meal together with the little food I had left in the fridge. The next day, I ran into a friend of mine- Phil who lives in Kings Point and has a large lush property with tennis courts and along the tennis courts he grows zucchini. If you have ever grown zucchini then you know when it comes in- it really come in. The garden gets taken over by these large yellow flowers that look like they have given birth to zucchinis. So Phil generously offered that I come by and do my shopping. That’s where this salad comes in….

This summer salad harmonizes sour and spicy flavors into a burst of freshness. The cilantro is aromatic and brightens the mild flavor of zucchini and mushrooms. An ideal and easy dish to prepare when there is a plethora of zucchini popping up in your local market, which is just about to come. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and enjoyed over the course of a day or two. This recipe comes from one of my most favorite vegetarian cookbooks, 15- Minute Vegetarian by Sasann Geiskpf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay.

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 zucchinis
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
½ red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Dressing
¼ cup freshly squeezed limes (3 limes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
Ground Pepper to taste

Instructions

1 Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut the halves crosswise into ½ inch slices.
2 Place a steamer basket into a large saucepan. Fill the pot with enough water so that is just barely reaches the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, add zucchini and cover. Steam for 5 minutes or until tender crisp.
3 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper until emulsified.
4 In a medium bowl, place the mushrooms, zucchini, and onion, and toss. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables, sprinkle the cilantro and toss to combine.


Raw Beet Salad with Carrot and Ginger (Vegan, Gluten Free)

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The sweet, earthy, and delightful crunchy salad is a powerhouse for flavor and nutrients. The lime awakens your palate to the gentle undertone of ginger that carries you away to the Far East. Beets, originally cultivated in the Mediterranean is available in my summer crop share of my CSA. A wonderful jeweled root vegetable, much like the carrot, just needs to be shredded to release it’s sweet flavor. What’s especially nice about this salad as well is that you can put it through the food processor for a quick salad. This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything who is an expert on getting the most flavors with the simplest ingredients.

Serves 4
Ingredients
1/2 pound small beets without their greens, peeled

1/2 pound carrots, peeled

2 large shallots, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced ginger

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped


Dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice

1-tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard



Instructions

      1      Grate the beets and the carrots by hand or use a food processor fitted with a grating disk.

      2      Combine the grated beets and carrots with the shallots and ginger in a bowl.

      3      Season salad with salt and pepper.

      4      Whisk together the limejuice, oil and mustard in a small bowl and pour into salad.  Toss salad and taste seasonings. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.

      5      Toss in the cilantro and serve.

Cabbage Slaw in Peanut Sesame Dressing (vegan, gluten free)

The name of this salad is actually called  Ying Yang Salad with Peanut-Sesame Dressing from the Real Food Daily Cookbook. I’m going to provide a link over to 101 Cookbooks for the recipe, since Heidi Swanson reprinted it with permission, which I don’t have.

The reason it’s named such is because it is an homage to the ancient Chinese philosophy that all things in the universe contain elements of both yin and yang. The philosophy of yin and yang lies at the heart of Chinese culture. The first reference to yin and yang come from the classic works of Confucius. Taken literally, yin and yang means the dark side and sunny side of a hill. People commonly think that they are opposing forces, but in fact they are complementary pairs. In Yin and Yang cooking there is always a balance in color, flavors and textures. The challenge is to consume a diet that contains the balance between the two. The crunchiness and coolness of the cabbage and carrots are the perfect counterpoint to the rich and creamy peanut dressing.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups shredded napa cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 (2 1/2-inch) piece daikon radish, peeled and julienned
10 scallions,  julienned
1 cup Peanut-Sesame Dressing (recipe below)
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes chilled ginger tofu (recipe below)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Toss the cabbage, carrots, radish, and green onions in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat.
  2. Mound the salad into 4 wide, shallow bowls or onto plates.
  3. Arrange the tofu around the salad. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

Peanut-Sesame Dressing

 Makes  1- 1/4 cups

    Ingredients

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
Directions
  1. Blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finely chopped The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

Gingered Tofu

     Ingredients
2 (12-ounce) containers water-packed extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
2/3 cup Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
Directions

  1. Drain the tofu and save the containers. Cut into 1-inch wide strips, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover a large baking sheet with more dry paper towels. Place the tofu in a single layer over the towels on the baking sheet and let drain for 2 hours, changing the paper towels after 1 hour.
  2. Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl to blend. Pour half of the marinade into the reserved tofu containers. Return the tofu slices to the containers, and pour the remaining marinade over. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400’F.
  4. Oil a heavy, rimmcd baking sheet with the canola oil. Drain the tofu and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Serve warm or cold, or at room temperature. The tofu will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated.

Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Salad

Tomatoes are proliferating the farmer’s markets and particularly my CSA these last few weeks. I have received over 20 pounds of tomatoes in the last month. No Joke.


In my weekly CSA, there has been a regular sort of three different tomatoes:



















The Roma tomatoes are a meaty, egg- or pear-shaped tomato that has few seeds and is a good canning and sauce tomato. I did not use those for this salad, but just made a tomato sauce and stored it in the fridge for later use. The orange tomatoes, similar looking to cherry tomatoes taste like starburst candy that just explodes with natural sweetness in your mouth. The Beefsteak tomatoes are the largest from the variety, hence the name. Typically used in sandwiches because of their large slices. Since I am not a sandwich eater, I used the beefsteak tomatoes for this salad.


Now this is an incredible tomato salad but there are two things to remember if you want to wow your guests with something so simple. The first is that you should try to get a mixture of different, tasty, local (if possible) tomatoes in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Second, the flavor is brought out by salting the tomatoes, so don’t skip this bit. Some people get worried about putting this much salt on their food, but the bulk of it will drip off, leaving you with really beautiful, intensely flavored tomatoes.


If you can get hold of some dried flowering oregano then do, as it has the most heavenly flavor. Feel free to use the dried stuff that you get in a little container, but it can taste a bit like sawdust when compared to the fruity, fragrant flavor you get from the flowering variety. Oregano is also great to grow in the garden. This salad is from Jamie Oliver’s recipe, called “The Mothership Tomato Salad”


Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, different shapes and colors

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A good pinch dried oregano
  • Red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
    1. Depending on the size of your tomatoes, slice some in half, some into quarters and others into uneven chunks. Straightaway this will give you the beginnings of a tomato salad that’s really brave and exciting to look at and eat. Put the tomatoes into a colander and season with a good pinch of sea salt. 
    2. Give them a toss, season again and give a couple more tosses. The salt won’t be drawn into the tomatoes; instead it will draw any excess moisture out, concentrating all the lovely flavors. Leave the tomatoes in the colander on top of a bowl to stand for around 15 minutes, then discard any juice that has come out of them.
    3. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl and sprinkle over the oregano. Make a dressing using 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, the garlic and the chile. Drizzle the tomatoes with enough dressing to coat everything nicely.
    4. This is a fantastic tomato salad, which is totally delicious to eat on its own. It’s also great served with some balls of mozzarella or some nice, grilled ciabatta bread.


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    Storage Facts: Tomatoes should never be refrigerated until they:
    • have been cooked
    • have been cut or put into a raw dish like a salsa
    • are fully ripe and would spoil if left further at room temperature


    Place tomatoes stem end up, and don’t put them on a sunny windowsill to hasten ripening. Instead, put tomatoes in a sealed paper bag with or without ethylene-producing fruit such as bananas. Ripe tomatoes will hold at room temperature for two or three days. Ripe tomatoes you’ve refrigerated to keep from spoiling will taste better if you bring them to room temperature before eating.

    Roasted Beet Salad in Orange Dressing (vegan, gluten free)

    My Grandmother would be proud of me…. and even my mother, because I have made a beet salad with zero waste, like in the old country where every bit of an ingredient was used. Not only do I love the beets deep red hue, and their sweetness, but I really get a kick out of using the whole vegetable, root and the greens. In this salad the beets along with the greens were used and for the dressing, the orange zest along with the oranges were used as well.

    One of the things I noticed about roasting root vegetables is that it really brings out the sweetness of the vegetables. Take for example, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and for this salad… beets. You can forgo boiling beets by roasting them in foil and avoid the mess that comes with the red staining on the pots.

    Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2004

    Ingredients:
    6 medium beets with beet greens attached
    2 medium oranges
    1 small red onion, finely diced
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    Sea salt to taste
    Freshly ground pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the greens from beets. Remove and discard stems. Chop the leaves coarsely and set them aside. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast for about 1 hour, until tender when pierced with fork.
    2. Let beets cool. Peel beets and then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl.
    3. Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool. When greens are at room temperature, squeeze them to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets.
    4. Zest the orange, then cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over another bowl and using a paring knife, cut between membranes to release segments (this is called supreming).
    5. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture.
    6. Whisk oil, garlic, orange zest in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve.

    Mango and Radish Salad with Lime Dressing (Gluten Free, Vegan)



    This past week the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) commenced for the season. The first bounty was absolutely gorgeous…. boston red lettuce, turnips, radishes, strawberries, just to name a few. The produce is picked the same day as delivery. Have you ever eaten food the same day as it’s picked?? It’s so fresh, crunchy and flavorful. The essence of the produce really shines the fresher it is, needless to say that the nutrients are at its peak as well.

    Often when you belong to a CSA, especially in the Northeast, there is a limit as to what can grow here. The CSA I belong to is a 26 week season and there are normally about 8 different items, give or take in my weekly share. Given that, I have to supplement with a few other items and shop at my local food market to complete my meals once in a while. Like this week I received french breakfast radishes. Those are the radishes that are elongated with pink and white roots. It is eaten raw as an appetizer alone or chopped into a salad.

    I had this recipe in mind for the radishes, which looked so fresh and appetizing when I eyed it the Martha Stewart Living, May 2010 edition. I needed to add some ingredients that I did not have on hand, but they are in season… like cucumbers and mangos.

    I am glad that I tried this recipe…. it was even better than it looked. The lime dressing and zest along with the sugar really brought out the flavors to a perfect ensemble. A sweet citrusy and fresh salad that is so crunchy, your head just might shake. I was not the biggest fan of radishes at first, because it tends to be a little too spicy and bitter for me, but this was not the case at all. The radishes were a welcome addition with the mango that offsets any bitterness. The bright colors of this salad represents the vibrant flavors.

    Ingredients


    1 mango, peeled and cubed
    1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
    1 bunch radishes (about 8), sliced
    1 tablespoon lime zest
    Juice of lime
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    Salt to taste

    1. Arrange mango, cucumber, and radishes on a platter.
    2. Whisk together lime zest and juice, oil and sugar. Season with salt.
    3. Drizzle dressing over salad, and season with salt again.

    Cucumber Salad


    Nothing like cooling off on a hot day with a cool refreshing cucumber salad. These variation of cucumbers are the long ones… almost a foot long and longer and it yields so much for this salad. You can prepare this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use. The easiest way to slice the cucumbers so your hands don’t tire from all that chopping, is with a food processor fitted with a metal blade. This is a perfect ornamental salad when you have guests to be placed into a clear tall glass vase.






    Serves 8-10

    ingredients

    4 English cucumbers, sliced very thinly

    1 red pepper, seeded and julienned

    4 teaspoons salt

    2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

    3 teaspoons brown sugar

    1 clove garlic, crushed

    ¼ cup chopped parsley

    Directions
        1   Sprinkle salt over cucumbers. Mix and let stand for 1 hour.
        2   In a small bowl, mix and combine vinegar, sugar and garlic. Set aside.
        3   Place cucumbers into strainer and squeeze gently to discard any liquid.
        4   Mix cucumbers with red pepper. Pour dressing into bowl and combine with parsley.