A few salads

Only a little more than a month remains before the farmers market down the street starts up again, and I am so so so so so so so excited because a) fresh fruits and veggies and meats and flowers and QUICHES and cheeses etc., etc. will be only seven, ittybitty blocks away and b) we’re working for the fruit stand at the market for the second year in a row and it will be wonderful. If you’re in DC, come visit. It’s grand.

Until the glorious time of fresh produce arrives, though, here are a few winter-friendly salad recipes.

The first comes from Fergus Henderson, via Food52. Look at the colors! How could I resist?

red salad

Red Winter Salad 
aka, This Might As Well Be Russian
adapted from Fergus Henderson’s Red Salad, via Food52

For one serving:

  • 1 small, raw beet, peeled and finely grated
  • a sliver of red cabbage, finely sliced (to equal about a cup of sliced cabbage)
  • a sliver of red onion, finely sliced, or one green onion, finely sliced
  • a tablespoon (or less) of capers
  • a dollop of thick yogurt (Greek or strained)
  • a few sprigs of parsley
  • olive oil, to taste
  • red wine vinegar, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine beet, cabbage, onion, and capers in a small bowl. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar to taste, adding salt and pepper to taste as well. I started with roughly a tablespoon each of oil and vinegar and then adjusted to be how I liked – a little punchy, with a nice olive oil note at the end.

To serve, place the salad on a plate. Dollop your yogurt next to the salad, then arrange the parsley next to that (sort of in a triangle, re: the picture above). Drizzle with more olive oil and some pepper, if you like. To eat, drag a little bit of salad into a little button of yogurt, and snatch a bit of parsley too. Repeat.

red plate

Salad number two also uses beets, so buy more than one. You know when things just come together, like the internet, sliced bread, or gin and tonic? This salad is one of those things. The dressing is a blend of tahini, roasted sweet peppers (the small kind, although bell peppers would be nice too), red wine vinegar, a good bit of fresh dill, and salt.

tahini pepper sauce

The dressing is really the star of the show, and also masquerades as a dip by night. Have some cauliflower languishing in the back of your fridge, begging to be used from the bottom of your crisper drawer? Cut it into florets, generously drizzle on some olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper, and roast for 20-30 minutes in a 380 degree oven. The cauliflower gets all browned and caramelized, and happens to be delicious dipped in the tahini-pepper-dill dip. But anyways, back to the salad:

Roasted Beet and Garbanzo Salad 

For two servings:

  • 1 beet, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (either canned or made from dry beans)
  • 3 small, sweet peppers, roasted and skinned (I roast according to these instructions)
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • a good handful of fresh dill, or to taste (or parsley or cilantro or, well, any other herb)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Roast the beets: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange beets in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Combine with your hands so the beets are evenly coated. Roast for 25-35 minutes, turning halfway through, until easily pierced with a fork and nicely browned in places. Set aside to cool.

2. Make the dressing: In a small food processor, pulse the roasted peppers, tahini, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dill, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust ingredients to your taste. I usually add a little more vinegar or olive oil, and almost definitely add more salt. (I really, really like the combination of tahini and red wine vinegar.) Note: this recipe will probably make more dressing than you will need. As I mentioned above, it is also a fantastic dip. Cauliflower, pita chips, flatbread? Done.

sauced

3. Assemble the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the beets and garbanzo beans. Drizzle on a bit of the dressing. Mix. Taste. Add more dressing if you’d like.

beet garbanzo salad

That’s all for now, folks.

Oh, and this:

magnolias

Spring. It is coming.

Kara

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4 thoughts on “A few salads

  1. Linda says:

    More great recipes to try out! Thanks! I, too an very excited for the start up of the framers’ markets in our area. And growing our own stuff!

  2. Kelly says:

    The pictures are GORGEOUS. I’m excited to try them out when it finally starts getting warm
    🙂

  3. Linda says:

    Just read that Friday, April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day! Did you arrange this?!

  4. Kara says:

    Thanks, you two! And Friday is National Grilled Cheese Day?! We won’t take credit, but we do hope someone out there gives one our grilled cheeses a try to commemorate.🙂

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