Thursday, June 11, 2009

Un-Cooking: Strawberry-Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

I just posted one of my partner Rochel's recipes and I thought I'd share another. I feel silly posting this as a recipe because it is is less of a recipe than a list of ingredients, but it's so addictively tasty that I wanted to share it with you all. We make this with inexpensive kosher goat cheese we buy a huge log of for around $4 at Costco.


[ Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Soy-Free ]

Romaine lettuce, chopped or Boston lettuce, torn
Ripe pear, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Goat cheese
Balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, a little dijon mustard and some raspberry jam or pomegranate juice to sweeten it a bit)
Optional: Pecans

On each plate put a generous amount of romaine lettuce, then arrange strawberries, pear slices and slices of goat cheese in an attractive way. Sprinkle with pecans (optional) and drizzle with dressing right before serving.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Un-Cooking: Rochel's Purple & Orange Cabbage Salad

On this blog's Facebook fan page I mentioned that I was writing a blog post about a dish that's purple and orange, and I gave people a chance to guess. Mary Frances got it right on the first try, but I loved some of the other ideas - My mom picked "sweet potatoes and eggplant" and another fan picked "blueberry, orange and almond pie," both of which sound quite delicious.

But Mary Frances was right because she knew that since it's almost summer, I must be blogging a cabbage salad... yet again! Summer also means that it's time for more "un-cooking" - Recipes that can be made during hot weather without making your kitchen any hotter than it already is. I've posted before (a million times) about the cabbage salads that we live on all summer long, which are wonderful and crisp when freshly made but just get better and better the longer they sit in the refrigerator absorbing their dressing. The difference with this salad is how beautiful it is to look at - Bright orange and deep purple (my dad's favorite color combination). It brings a splash of color to an otherwise neutral-looking plate. In this case dinner was bean tacos and plantains. I hope the colors will appeal to some of my readers' vegetable-hesitant children.

But this is not my recipe, folks! Nope, I had no part in it. This is the foodblog debut of my wonderful partner Rochel's mad cooking (or in this case un-cooking) skillz. That's her picture over on the right hand side of this post. I made the tacos and fried the plantains, but Rochel insisted on making the cabbage salad herself so this recipe is 100% hers. The only change I made is to mention some optional alterations to the recipe. The spices don't have measurements because you'll need to spice this to suit your own tastes and your family's. Just be sure to make the cumin flavor strong... and don't skimp on the salt, either.

Rochel, you officially win the Prettiest Cabbage Salad Award for 2009. Your reward is flatulence my appreciation for how much of the cooking you've been taking on lately, plus some extra effort on my part to stop being such a kitchen dominatrix. Thanks for gently pushing me to learn how to let someone else into "my" kitchen.

For more easy "un-cooking" recipes for hot weather click here.


[ Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free / Pareve / Vegan / Soy-Free ]

1/2 of a large head of purple cabbage
1 orange bell pepper
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 to 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Optional: Canned mandarin orange segments or chopped pieces of fresh orange
Optional: Small amount of agave nectar, honey or other sweetener

With a sharp knife, cut 1/2 a purple cabbage into several wedges, then slice thinly across the wedges width-wise. Alternately, if you have a food processor, you can use its shredder function to shred the cabbage. Remove stem and seeds from the orange bell pepper and cut into long, thin slices. Combine cabbage, carrots, pepper and cilantro into a large bowl. Combine spices, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl and then pour over the salad. Stir gently, making sure all of the vegetables are coated in the dressing.

Serve at room temperature. Stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and increases in flavor over time. Can be refrigerated for up to a week.

This recipe has been posted as part of Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly blog event hosted this week by Eat This.