Monday, April 15, 2013

Warming winter harvest salad

When I got back from Kenya (my fourth of four 40-hour trips in four weeks), I felt approximately like this: blueeeeuruuuughhh.

Sitting for so long on an airplane, eating mostly hotel food, and residual tummy troubles from India and Nepal (that you probably don't reallyyyy want to hear about) left my back in a crunch, my digestive tract in disarray (but on the bright side, probably the home to lots of new friends!), and me craving nothing more than movement, stretching, fresh vegetables and home-cooked meals. Oh, and sleep. :)

As I recovered, I mostly ate very basic foods as I tried to figure out what would and wouldn't cause my stomach to rebel against me. I ended up removing most grains and refined sugars, finding comfort in fresh and cooked vegetables, giiiiiiiinger, and citrus.

I also resolved to slow down and cook more deliberately, drawing from the recipes on other blogs that inspire me.

This recipe is adapted from Laura at The First Mess's (one of my absolute favorite cooking blogs) Fall Vegetable Slaw, modified with what was available and what struck in the moment.

The result was delicious, warming, and fresh. Best the first day, but I had no problem eating leftovers for lunch in the days that followed.

Warming Winter Harvest Salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing
yields 8 - 10 hearty servings
4-6 medium carrots
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp dried dill, rosemary, and other herbs
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper

1 lb green beans (ends trimmed!)
1 medium leek
2 Tbsp oil

1/2 large head of red cabbage

2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped, grated, or pressed
1 medium clove of garlilc, diced or pressed
juice of three limes
2 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup/agave, if you prefer)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the carrots in half (and trim off the ends), then slice lengthwise into 1/4's or 1/6ths depending on thickness to make long thin strips. Toss with oil, herbs, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, until they soften and just barely start to blacken.

2. Thinly slice the tender parts of the (cleaned) leek (much of the green is often too tough to eat), and gently separate the rings. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and saute for a few minutes over medium heat until they soften and caramelize. Add the trimmed green beans, and toss well. Cover and cook until the green beans have heated through, then uncover and stir well. Stir occasionally until the green beans have started to brown.'

3. Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Thinly slice the cabbage into a very large bowl, and top with the carrots, green beans and leeks, still warm. Pour the dressing over, and toss until well combined and serve.

Enjoy! :)


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