Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Favourite Winter Salad

Raw, fresh, crunchy salads are hard to come by when winter hits.  Lately I've been experimenting with carrots and cabbage, as I know they'll be reliable ingredients until the spring. Bought by the kilogram at the famers market, and stored in a cold celar, they're super cheap and yield an insane amount of food. If only more students knew how yummy root vegetables and winter-greens were...

The success of this salad relies on the dressing, as well as the "mouth feel" of the vegetables. When preparing dishes that are predominantly raw, you want to make the piece sizes and texture eater-friendly. For tough, root vegetables, that usually means shredding or spiralizing them. The dressing includes one of my new go-to ingredients: miso paste. It's the base ingredient for miso soup; the kind you get before lovely sushi meals. It has a ton of flavour and umami. Used in concentrated paste form, and mixed with other dressing ingredients, I find it suits hearty vegetables really well. I wouldn't use it for something like delicate butterhead lettuce, though. Cold Mountain's non-GMO red miso paste, which I'll link here, is really nice, but whatever is available to you will work just fine.



Recipe:
In the bottom of a big salad bowl, combine a tablespoon of miso paste and a tablespoon of tahini. Mix these together until they blend to a single tan colour. Add the juice of 1 lime, or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The mixture will foam a little. Add pepper, and then as much water as you need to make the paste into a thin dressing. Add in 2 large shredded carrots, 1/4 medium cabbage sliced thin, and whatever other green you like. Avocado is also really nice if you want to up the creamy factor.
As another option, omitt the cabbage and stick to the base carrots and avocado. Spoon into big romain leaves or purple cabbage-boats and you can roll up your lunch instead.


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