It’s January, early in a new year, resolutions everywhere. It’s time to reaffirm an ongoing belief that is, for me, a cornerstone of this blog, that cooking at home is a sustainable act – sustainable in its benefit for the planet, sustaining for families as cooking and eating together have always been.
Cooking from scratch at home, even occasionally, might mean that you use less processed food, more whole food from the farmer’s market or grocery store, that children see food being prepared in traditional ways and not from a pouch or a can, that less packaging is being purchased and discarded, that what is on the plate is known – no mystery ingredients, that everyone might be involved in preparation, even in small ways, that a good meal can be prepared quickly (many hands help), that family favorites and traditions emerge, and that conversation about it all is inevitable. Mistakes will be made too, that’s part of the deal.
And I know, I know, a lot of processed food is alarmingly inexpensive and certainly quick. Mixed Greens exists to help you think differently about that.
Jumping off that bandwagon and on to making a raw winter salad, colorful, crunchy, healthy, easy and even better the next day. There’s chopping or grating involved, more than usual for salad, but make a big batch and use it for more than one meal or for weekday lunches. That can’t be said for your average green salad.
Use almost any winter vegetable, and use it raw. This salad is wonderful in or with a fish taco, or as a savory bed for fresh crab, nibbles of grilled chicken or pork.
Winter’s Confetti Salad Recipe
Coarsely grate the vegetables, or finely chop as in a julienne, then douse it all with this lovely dressing. Gorgeous when you’re finished and you get to eat it. Your cells will be happy.
Ingredients for Salad: One medium golden beet, 2 small turnips, 1 carrot, ½ of a large celeriac, ½ or 1 whole sweet potato, 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced very thinly, ½ small red onion sliced thinly, 2 cups kale made 9 cups of salad. And you know the drill – add to or subtract anything you like from this list, like cabbage for example.
Directions: Use ½ – 1 C each of the above vegetables, plus any others you can think of. Chop uniformly and fairly small, coarsely grate, or julienne into matchstick-like slivers. Use a mandolin for julienne if you have one, slice thin rounds, pile them and then slice those lengthwise. Roll the kale, chard into tight little piles and chiffonade. Careful with the beets because of their tendency to bleed color, especially the red ones. Set them aside, dress separately and add them carefully when ready to serve.
Vegetables can be chopped in advance, dressing added later on, though this salad benefits from marinating a half hour or so before serving. Add dark beets separately and just before serving – they will stain everything. Or, refrain from dark red beets and try the golden ones.
Dressing: Finely chopped fresh ginger and garlic, 1 teaspoon each/ 3 T soy/ 6 T rice wine vinegar/ 1 ½ t sesame oil/ Taste and adjust flavors to your liking/ Whisk together, pour over confetti salad and toss thoroughly at least half an hour before serving/ Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, cashews, cilantro, or thinly sliced avocado/ Good for a couple of days.
Next time: I’ll coarsely grate the vegetables instead of the julienne, finely slice the red onion and fennel.