Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer salads, part I

Summer is the season for salads.  They're actually great all year round, but in the summer you can really make a meal out of them.  One of my favorites is beet-walnut salad, which I learned from a Moroccan friend who grew up in Haifa.  This has become my signature salad and I can't even count how many times I've given out the recipe to Shabbat guests who realized for the first time that beets can taste good...really good.  In a country without much air conditioning, it's nice not to heat up the house by turning on the oven more than necessary. A variety of chilled salads--partly cooked or just fresh--can be rounded out by whole-wheat bread and g'vina levana (creamy white cheese).  Make large quantities ahead of time and you'll have salads on hand for breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner.

Moroccan Beet-Walnut Salad


6 small beets, halfway covered in a pot of water and cooked for 20-30 minutes (should not be soft enough to easily pierce with a fork), peeled and diced  (may be cooked, then stored unpeeled in airtight container in fridge for up to one week)

Leaves of 1/2 bunch flat-leaved parsely, washed, removed from stems (my children help with this part!) and coarsely chopped (before chopping, these can be wrapped in paper towels and stored in a plastic bag for at least several days in the fridge)

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Dressing: 2 T. olive oil, juice of 1 small lemon, 1/2 tsp. coarse salt

Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.  Because there are only three main ingredients in this tasty salad, it does not take kindly to omissions or substitutions.  This is one of those few special salads that tastes just as good or better when served again after a couple of days in the fridge.



Three Quick Cabbage Salads

Classic White Cabbage Salad


1 small head of white cabbage, shredded

Leaves of 1/2 bunch flat-leaved parsely, washed, removed from stems and coarsely chopped

Dressing: 2 T. olive oil, juice of 1 small lemon, 1/2 tsp. coarse salt

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately or chill in the fridge.  Salad will taste nice and "marinated" the second day and cabbage leaves will appear translucent.

Oriental White Cabbage Salad


1 small head of white cabbage, shredded

3 green onions, chopped finely

Dressing: 2 T. olive oil, juice of 1/2 small lemon, 1 tsp. soy sauce, and two pinches of sumac

Reserve 1 green onion and half of sumac.  Combine all other ingredients and sprinkle green onion and sumac over the top.  Looks especially beautiful served on a large plate instead of in a bowl.
  

Classic Red Cabbage Salad

At this age, they'll eat what they can get their hands on.
Make sure to offer plenty of colorful salads, chopped finely.
1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
4 T. mayonnaise
1 small lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients and let chill for several hours until the mayo has turned light purple.
More to come...
What's your signature salad?