Fennel Apple Salad

2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
2 celery stalks
1  fennel bulb
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 small firm, crisp apple (like Pink Lady, or Granny Smith)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnish with toasted walnuts

Preparation
Whisk first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, once the salt is dissolved add the oil and mix well and then add the tarragon. I like a tart dressing so add more oil if you find this too tart and adjust the salt to taste.

Slice celery, fennel and apple with a mandolin (or thinly slice) and chop fennel fronds; toss in dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to add toasted nuts.

Summer Salad

Mixed greens (spring mix, herb mix, baby romaine)
An orange, chopped and supremed (no skin/membrane)
Half a green onion, finely chopped (mostly the green)
Avocado, roughly chopped
½ carrot, in thin strips with a peeler

Toss together.

Serve with onion soy sauce or other dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper, salt) on the side.

Jicama Orange Salad

 

3 navel oranges, peel and pith removed, sections freed from membranes, chopped (about 2 cups total), reserving the juice (video of how to do this easily)*
1 jicama, skin cut off, flesh cubed
1 green onion, diced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Preparation
In a large bowl gently stir together all ingredients. Salad may be made up to 1 day ahead and covered, chilled.

The original recipe recommends adding toasted pine nuts when you are ready to serve the salad.

*if you are in a hurry you can just peel and chop the orange, membranes and all.

7 simple salads

1. Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato.

2. A nice cucumber salad: Slice cucumbers thin (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), toss with red onions and salt, then let sit for 20 to 60 minutes. Rinse, dry, dress with cider vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard; no oil necessary.

3. Grate carrots, toast some sunflower seeds, and toss with blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. Sweet, sour, crunchy, soft. This is one of my favourites!

4. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama) and combine with
chopped or sliced not fully ripe (still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or cilantro.

5. A classic Moroccan combination: Thinly slice carrots, or grate or shred them (a processor makes quick work of this). Toss with toasted cumin seeds (or ground cumin), olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro. Raisins are good in here, too but they are quite sweet so you only need a few.

6. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half; toss with soy sauce, a bit of dark sesame oil and basil or cilantro.

7. Dice cucumbers (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first) and toss with cubes of avocado, rice vinegar and soy sauce.

All of these are from or adapted from Mark Bittman’s 101 Simple Salads for the Season

Salad Rolls

These take a bit of time but they are impressive at potlucks and really nice lunches or snacks. This is a very easily adjusted recipe, if you don’t like an ingredient, replace it with something else: grated carrots, avocado, thin rice noodles – any fresh veggie you like.

Ingredients
6 or 7 Rice papers (large, round) (ingredients just rice, salt, water)
1 block pressed tofu, cut into strips and then marinated (we use Mandarin brand)
2 Green onions cut in thin long strips
Cucumber cut in thin long strips, skin and seeds removed
Leaf lettuce torn into pieces
Cilantro or basil (leaves removed from thick stems)

Tofu Marinade:
Kikkoman naturally brewed (preservative free) soy sauce
olive or sesame oil
red pepper flakes
miso
splash of hot water – 1/8 cup?
grated ginger

Dipping sauce:
soy sauce, grated or minced ginger and rice vinegar. You can add some peanut butter to this, too if you like. Food sensitive folks can dip with soy sauce.

Marinade should be about more soy than oil, about 1 tbsp miso, and some hot water to dissolve and lighten the intense soy sauce flavour. I usually only mix up enough marinade to go almost an inch or so up the side of the dish and then I stir the tofu a few times before using it. Marinade for at least an hour if you can. Bake tofu at 400 for about 30 min turning every 10 minutes, allow to cool for at least 10 min.

Meanwhile, cut the veggies into long thin strips and tear the lettuce and wash and remove herb leaves from thick stems. Cover rice paper in wet cloth or briefly place in lg bowl of warm water until just pliable. Put some of each ingredient into centre of rice paper and roll (as you would a burrito). Cut in half before serving. For instructions and images demonstrating how to make the roll, visit this blog.

Serve with dipping sauce or just serve with soy sauce.

*Note Soy Sauce has gluten in it, Braggs is a gluten free soy sauce in the health food section of large grocery stores. For my gf friends. Also, it is really good, I prefer it to soy sauce.

So Good and Sour Cabbage

I haven’t added any amounts here, and I apologize. I can’t remember the last time I measured anything when I made this, if ever. All I can really tell you is that I generally go a little easy on the oil and am always heavy handed with rice vinegar. That is true for all the recipes I use, not just this one.

Cabbage
Sesame oil
Soy sauce or braggs (a gluten free alternative)
rice vinegar
red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper

Finely slice cabbage, remove hard centre. Heat oil in a large frying pan, if using red pepper flakes, add them to the oil. Toss in the cabbage, saute for 2 min until it is well mixed in with the oil. Add some soy sauce and vinegar, toss for another minute or just until the cabbage is tender-crisp. The pan will sizzle and smell instantly amazing. Season with salt and pepper. Eat piping hot, though to be honest I have enjoyed this at any and every temperature between hot and cold.

This is adapted from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s cookbook How to Eat.

Minty Mushy Peas

I thought this was a Nigella Lawson recipe, but google says it is Jamie Oliver’s.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
1 pound (500 grams) frozen peas
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onions, mint, and peas. Cover for a few minutes to steam. Mash with a potato masher. You can do this with a food processor as well, just pulse it until smooth–in a pinch a fork and elbow grease will do the trick. Whether mashing or pulsing, when it’s done season with salt and pepper.