Winter Kale Slaw Endless Ways

The basic slaw unadorned

The basic slaw unadorned

Oh I love recipes that beg to be played with! When I was teaching a knitting class recently one of the students brought  a Brussels sprout and kale salad. I took home the idea and started experimenting. The basic recipe is

Kale any kind ribs removed

Brussels sprouts

Carrots

1. Take these ingredients and chop, food process, cut with mandolin, in any way or shape and combine.

2. Make any kind of vinaigrette or salad dressing your little heart desires and combine with the salad.

3. Garnish and play!

Ways to play!

1. Top with poached eggs. Start with a simple combo and a mild vinaigrette.

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Kale slaw topped with poached eggs

2. To the basic salad add chopped apple, blue cheese and dried cranberries.

3. To a basic salad add orange sections, goats cheese and shallots.

4. Garbanzo beams and grape tomatoes.

5. Grape tomatoes, mixed olives and pepperoncini.

Kale slaw Italian style

Kale slaw Italian style

6. Fresh figs and goats cheese.

7. Make a dressing of fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and veggie oil. Stir in mango and green onions. Top with seared fresh tuna!

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Kale slaw with mango and seared tuna Asian style

8. Make your favorite slaw or ranch dressing. Combine with basic salad. Great with fried fish or any chicken.

9. The ideas are endless …what can you come up with?

 

 

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Caprese Salad

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Caprese salad is a classic. It is also a salad I see done poorly all too often. The star of the show is the tomato. The mozarella and basil are merely supporting characters. Only make cabrese salad when tomatoes are in season and pick the best you can find. Cut the fresh mozzeralla smaller than the tomato, the creamy goodness is just a counterpoint to the juicy ripe tomato. The dressing is very simple with just enough basil and garlic to let the tomato sing.

Slice the best tomatoes you can get your hands on.

Layer with much smaller slices of fresh mozzarella.

Salt and pepper generously.

Vinaigrette-

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1-2 cloves garlic minced

6-8 basil leaves chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Whisk first 4 ingredients together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Pour the vinaigrette over the tomato and cheese.

Awesomeness ensues!

First CSA of the season

My goodies!

My goodies!

I received my first CSA of the season today! A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a contract you make with a farmer. You pay X amount of dollars and receive produce weekly. You do not know what you will get each week, it depends on harvest. Mine goes for 16 weeks so I will be getting bags into October. With a CSA you are getting the freshest produce at the best price possible. The fun part is to unpack the bag and plan your menus for the week. I especially like when I get new to me or unusual  products.

This first bag contained cabbage, onions, sorrel, rainbow chard, zucchini, lettuce, radishes and I bought some golden beets and bread. We will eat well this week!

 

Tuna Mac Salad

Comfort food

Comfort food

When I think comfort food I usually think of winter braises and heavy potatoes. But when it comes to summer it is tuna macaroni salad. This is one food my mom made well. Most of the foods from my childhood I have adapted to newer forms to accommodate the way I eat now.  Mom was not a great cook. However tuna mac still makes me happy made the old fashioned way. I don’t measure anything and the only pasta acceptable is shells or orrecchette ( little ears). Cook about two cups pasta in salted boiling water till al dente, drain and cool. Add 2 cans of tuna, chopped celery and onion. I add thawed pea(I don’t think mom did that). Plus a generous amount of dill. Mix it all up with mayo salt and pepper. If you like a few dashes of Tabasco. Chill. this may not make it on the trendy, hot or cool list but it takes me back to childhood a couple times each summer. Comfort food.

Farmers Market Bounty June 21st

Farmers' Market 6-21

Farmers’ Market 6-21

The produce is just getting fun! Today at the Farmers’ market I got:

Garlic scapes

Nasturtium leaves and blossoms- These come from an easy to grow annual. I will use them in salads. They have a nice peppery flavor.

Cincinnati market radishes- These long babies are hot and spicy. I love radishes!

Purslane

Green beans- First of the season and they look perfect.

Cabbage- This farmer planted very early. I expect this to make a great slaw.

Zucchini blossoms- I am so excited to stuff these with goat cheese and basil to serve with skirt steak tonight.

Kale- Wow this is beautiful! Deep green and obviously just picked.

I also got homemade bread and a fabulous cheese Danish.

Just can’t beat the Farmers’  Market for the freshest of the season!

 

 

 

Purslane

Purslane

Purslane

 

Purslane is originally from the middle east. It is now a common weed to most people. Purslane is a succulent that has a grassy citrus flavor. The flavor is best from a younger plant that has yet to flower. It makes a wonderful addition to salad. I am making it the star of the show in a gremolata to be served with veal chops. I mixed lemon zest, minced garlic scapes, chopped purslane and some chopped capers to make the gremolata. I will pan sear the veal chops then finish in a 375 oven for about 10 minutes and garnish with the purslane gremolata. I get mine at the farmers’ market in town. Keep your eyes open for purslane in your area.

Veal chop with Purslane Gremolata

Veal chop with Purslane Gremolata

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the stalks for flowers from hardneck garlic plants. They are only available for about two weeks each year. Cutting them off allows the energy to go to developing the garlic bulb rather than the flower. The scapes have a sharp, green, garlicy flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked. You could use the scapes in place of garlic in any recipe. I found mine at the Farmers’ Market. I am going to make a “pesto” out of some of them and freeze it as they freeze well without discoloring. In my food processor I will blend the scapes, parmesan cheese and olive oil, maybe some nuts. It will make an eye-opening pesto to serve over pasta, white meat or fish. The pesto would be a lovely addition to salad dressing.  Some I am going to make into a gremolata with lemon zest, capers and parsley or purslane ( more about purslane in my next post!) to sprinkle over veal. It would also compliment chicken, pork or fish. When you come across the unexpected at the Farmers’ Market go for it! You will usually be rewarded!