Whether you’re curious about the raw food movement or just looking for an excuse not to turn on the stove, this is the very best time of year to eat raw foods. Fresh, organic, fully ripe produce is everywhere you look and with a small amount of preparation, a little imagination and a food processor or sharp knife, you’re good to go.
My friend Joan is not only one of the best cooks I know, and also has an incredible vegetable garden that provides inspiration for every meal. After countless dinners at her house, I’ll have to say this is one of my favorite dishes. I could easily grab a fork, disappear out on her deck, eat the entire bowlful and be completely satisfied. It’s such an easy recipe but the combination of carrots, lemon and herbs makes it memorable.
Carrot Salad with Parsley, Lovage and Mint
(from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors)
1 lb carrots
2 T chopped parsley
2 T chopped lovage (if you don’t have lovage, don’t worry, it’s nearly as good without)
2 T chopped mint
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1-2 T olive oil
Peel, then grate the carrots. Toss with the chopped herbs and ½ t salt. Add 1 T lemon juice, the zest, and just enough oil to coat the carrots lightly. Season with pepper and chill before serving if time allows.
Our cool summer has given us an abundance of kale and other leafy greens. This recipe for Kale Slaw lands somewhere between Sally’s Massaged Kale and my Kale Caesar Salad. Make a big batch and take it on a picnic. It’s very filling as is but if you want to make it more substantial, toasted sunflower seeds and avocado make it into a very satisfying meal.
Juice of 2 small lemons (about 1/8 cup)
3 or 4 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove
1/2 t dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled
1 big bunch of kale, center stalks removed and thinly sliced
Combine first 4 ingredients in food processor or blender. With machine running, slowly add oil in a steady stream to make a creamy dressing. Stir in 1/4 cup of parmesan. Cover and chill for up to 2 days.
Separate egg yolk from egg white. Place white in a fine mesh strainer and press through with a spoon. Repeat with the egg yolk.
Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt & freshly ground pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and sieved eggs.
This recipe was inspired by the Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw in Bon Appetit.
A spicy Asian dressing elevates an otherwise traditional cole slaw of cabbage and carrots to a whole new level of taste. It’s a tasty accompaniment and delicious on its own. When I can get it, I love to use the very tender Caraflex or Arrowhead cabbage. So far, the only source I’ve found is Maple Rock Farm on Orcas Island. If you happen to be on Orcas, be sure to stop by the Farmers Market and pick some up. It’s worth the trip.
Spicy Asian Slaw
Ingredients for slaw:
1 head cabbage, thinly sliced and core removed
1 large carrot, grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 C coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 C soy sauce
1 t sugar (optional)
2 t srirancha sauce (garlic chili sauce — take it slow, add a little at a time)
Toasted sesame oil
Whisk together mayo, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce and srirancha in large bowl. Toss in remaining ingredients. Drizzle toasted sesame oil on top. Chill for an hour or so to wilt cabbage and blend flavors.
Eating raw gives you every last little bit of goodness that each food has to give. Provided your food is grown in nutrient-rich, organic soil, every bite will be loaded with vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to jump in completely to benefit from a raw food dishes, but sticking your toes in during the summer is highly recommended.