Friday, April 29, 2011

Copper Coins

This wasn’t really the kind of recipe I usually jump at. At one time I probably would have made a face and walked away. Cooked carrots, an orange-colored retro-style dressing? I may be old-fashioned, but I’m definitely not retro. (There is a difference.) But I lingered over a recipe called “Copper Coins” in Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman nonetheless. I guess there’s nothing like having way too many carrots in the refrigerator to get one broaden one’s mind. Besides, the recipe was cheap and easy. I wouldn’t be out much even if I hated it.

Well, I didn’t hate it. I quite liked it in fact. I knew I would all along. Really I did.

Say what you must about a ketchup-based dressing, but there’s something satisfying about it. This one reminds me of the bottled French dressing I ate as a kid. It has, however, the fresher flavor that those of us who love to cook rely upon when it comes to homemade versus processed foods. Well, I did freshen it a little more with minced fresh ginger root (the original recipe called for powdered ginger) and updated it with a splash of Sriracha hot sauce.

I think if you love carrots, you might just love this dish. I suppose it’s really a salad, but it was a bit more satisfying at room temperature where it performed more like a vegetable side dish. The carrots are tender from a good blanching, but I think overcooking them would make this dish a disaster. If anything, I would err on the side of undercooking them so they still have some bite. I also wouldn’t go completely raw with the carrots unless you really like to crunch your way through your meal. Wait a minute. Perhaps with grated raw carrots…Hmmm…

Anyway, I liked this tangy dressing with its fresh ginger, spicy hot sauce and perky pick-up from soy sauce (trendier cooks and chefs would expound on theories involving umami here) on sweet, tender carrots. I’d never seen a recipe like this before, so its uniqueness on the modern table alone made it somewhat intriguing. Its flavor and style may be a bit retro, but some things deserve another chance.

To borrow some phrasing from the new Dr. Who, I’m retro now. Retro is cool. Although I don’t think I’ll be buying an avocado green refrigerator anytime soon.

Carrots with Ketchup-Ginger Dressing
Adapted from Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman

2 pounds carrots (about 5-6 large carrots)
¼ cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot chile sauce
¼ cup thinly sliced onion

1. Peel the carrots and slice diagonally about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set it aside. Add the carrot slices to the boiling water and cook about 3 minutes or until the carrots are tender, but still firm and not mushy. Remove the carrots from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice water. When they have completely cooled, transfer to a colander and drain well.

3. Combine the ketchup, water, olive oil, vinegar, brown sugar, minced onion, garlic, soy sauce, ginger and Sriracha in the canister of a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

4. Transfer the drained carrots to a bowl. Add the sliced onion and the dressing mixture and toss to coat well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Other recipes like this one: Shaved Vegetable Salad with Cider Sage Vinaigrette, Simple Shredded Carrot Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette

One year ago: Coconut Cranberry Quick Bread

Two years ago: Wheat Sandwich Bread, Apricot and Almond Cookies with White Chocolate

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Thanks to a bonus box as part of our winter subscription to the CSA and the magical miracle of the early spring greenhouse, I recently had my first taste of locally-grown spinach. Since the weather had turned decidedly not green and growing, a big salad just sounded chilly. I dug through my (somewhat) organized files and pulled out a recipe for a dish I had repeatedly put aside in warmer weather: a chickpea and spinach curry with tomatoes.

This is a super-speedy week-night supper concoction that you can doctor to your taste or style. I’ve made it here as a curry, but since chickpeas, spinach and tomatoes are at home in a variety of cuisines, you could change the spices to Mediterranean herbs or Moroccan seasonings and have something new. I served it with brown basmati rice, but you could serve it as a stew with a chunk of bread (perhaps even naan if you keep it curry-style) or maybe even toss it with pasta or pour it over polenta.

While I’ve gone on record as someone who prefers to make my own spice blends, I’ve found myself with an embarrassment of store-bought curry powder in my cupboard, so I used it here. I also spiced my dish up quite a bit by including two dried red chile peppers. You could tone it down if you like, and I know there are a few of you who would like to kick it up even more. Suit yourself. This is as very versatile dish.

I’m amazed at how much flavor was packed into this simple dish: creamy chickpeas, tangy tomatoes (I happened to have fire-roasted tomatoes the day I made this) and green and earthy spinach. So, so simple. So, so delicious. This dish offers a really big bang for your buck. And since most of us have pretty busy schedules and time is really money too, Chickpea and Spinach Curry is a double bang. I’d say the average busy family cook could get this on the table without much hassle at all, say, in less than 20 minutes. In fact, if you’re serving it with rice, you’d better get the rice well on its way before you begin the curry because the rice will take significantly longer to cook.

Something so easy was a great solution to the week-night rush I found myself in. Something so quick was a great way to show off such good spinach without boiling the heck out of it. Something so warm and slightly soupy was a great comfort for those not-yet-springtime blues. Oh, and I used up some of that curry powder, too. I call that a win-win-win-win situation.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

1 tablespoon canola oil, ghee or other neutral oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon coarse salt, divided
2 dried chile peppers (or to taste)
1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas (about 1 ½ cups) drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
6 ounces fresh spinach (about 4-5 cups), well washed and chopped
½ cup water
¼ cup chopped cilantro
juice of ½ lime

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should just be beginning to brown. Break the chile peppers in half and stir them in.

2. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and curry powder. Simmer on medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the spinach, water and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve with rice or flatbread if desired.

Makes about 4 servings.

Other recipes like this one: Italian Chickpeas, Winter Squash and Onion Curry with Yogurt Sauce

One year ago: Sloppy Beans and Tomatoes

Two years ago: Double Banana Walnut Pancakes

Friday, April 22, 2011


Don’t get me wrong. I love green salads, especially when I can get locally-grown lettuces that weren’t trucked, shipped or flown in from the Emerald City or some other faraway place where things are always green. It’s just that I know there are a lot of those salads in my not-too-distant future. I don’t want to overdose before I even get there.

And, so, I did something else with my leftover Coconut Lime Dressing. It doesn’t take much to imagine a salad dressing as a sauce for your greens and therefore a good candidate for saucing other things. Like warm noodles.

Oh, did this lunch make me happy! I cooked some spaghetti, tossed it with cilantro, scallions, a little chile pepper and sunflower seeds. The Coconut Lime Dressing was a perfect partner to these ingredients. In fact, I think I liked it even more in this dish than I did on a salad. The heat from the noodles allowed some lime and herb aroma to perfume the whole experience. I love cilantro, so its inclusion was a given and the chile pepper gave it all a great punch of spice. And there’s something almost magical about the combination of roasted, salted sunflower seeds and this Coconut Lime Dressing. (I’d bet peanuts would be good, too.)

When I finished preparing this dish, which I had intended to be lunch just for me, I thought it looked like an awfully big single serving. In the interest of full disclosure, I, erm, ate the whole thing. Also, since I’m nearly hopeless with chopsticks and this was somewhat of a “working lunch,” I gave them up early and ate my noodles and re-purposed dressing with a trusty, multi-purpose fork.

Warm Noodles with Cilantro and Coconut Lime Dressing

¼ pound dry spaghetti or other long noodles
salt (for boiling noodles)
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 small chile pepper (or ½ larger pepper), seeded and cut into thin strips
2-3 tablespoons roasted salted sunflower seeds
¼ cup Coconut Lime Dressing

1. Cook the spaghetti or other noodles in boiling salted water until they reach desired tenderness. I like them softer than al dente for this dish. Drain the noodles and return them to the pan off the heat.

2. Add the cilantro, scallions, chile pepper and sunflower seeds and toss together. Add the Coconut Lime Dressing and toss well to coat.

Makes 1-2 servings.

Other recipes like this one: Noodles with Cilantro, Green Onions and Peanuts; Noodle Bowl with Spicy Greens

One year ago: Lentil Barley Burgers

Two years ago: Penne with Chicken Sausage, Olives and Walnut Sauce

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ice and Snow: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

 Not so long ago, I made an optimistic batch of vanilla ice cream as the season of spring made a pleasant appearance. That appearance turned out to be a mere tease. A fleeting flirtation. Blatantly false pretenses. As I write this, the snow is falling in a calendar-challenged frenzy that’s threatening to crush any enthusiasm I may have had about the upcoming arrival of local spring vegetables.

I’d like to say that the Great Outdoors covered in fluffy but frigid white stuff evokes an image of an ice cream world. The truth is, I’m just not that happy about it. This post on ice cream represents pure defiance. Sweet and creamy defiance with the exotic floral-fruity scent of vanilla bean.

Yes, I did use a vanilla bean to make my ice cream. I’ve been hoarding the few vanilla beans I buy for use in special dishes that really benefit from their unique flavor and aroma. I figured that the first homemade ice cream of the season was good enough reason to pull one out of the cupboard.

I simply scraped the black, pasty seeds from inside the pod, and added them, along with the pod itself to the custard while I heated it. I removed the pod when I was ready to freeze the ice cream, then rinsed it, dried it, and stored it in a sealed container with sugar. I just keep adding used vanilla pods to this sugar and it develops subtle vanilla flavor over time. I can then use this sugar to make more ice cream or baked goods. I also quite like it in coffee.

You don’t, however, need to use a vanilla bean to make good vanilla ice cream. Its exotic aroma is quite a pleasure for the cook to enjoy while working with it, but vanilla extract will work very well here. (It’s what I usually use.) Since there are only a few simple ingredients in vanilla ice cream, the quality of the ingredients matters significantly, so use good-quality vanilla extract as well as good eggs, milk and cream.

In the end, it may not be warm and green and sunny, but no matter the weather, ice cream is just delicious. So take that, Return of Winter. You will not get me down! I’ll see your snow and raise you an ice cream cone! Let’s see you make that fall from the sky!

Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book

2 eggs
¾ cup sugar or vanilla sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 vanilla bean or 2-3 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract

1. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is pale and no longer grainy. Whisk in the milk.

2. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean open lengthwise. Scrape the seeds (they look like a black paste) from the pod. Whisk the seeds into the egg mixture.

3. Pour the mixture into a medium-size saucepan. Add the scraped vanilla pod. Heat over low to medium-low heat, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 160 F (about 72 C). (Use an instant-read or candy thermometer to determine this.)

4. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract, if using. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or until completely chilled. (I often set it in the freezer to speed the process and get the mixture even colder than the refrigerator can.)

6. Remove the vanilla pods from the chilled custard. Pour the custard into the freezing canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze until of desired firmness.

Makes about 1 quart (1 liter).

Other recipes like this one: Ginger Spice Ice Cream, Rich Chocolate Ice Cream

One year ago: Maple Cake with Walnuts and Dates

Two years ago: Italian Chickpeas

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Year in the Blogosphere

Yup. Two years of food and recipe blogging right here on these pages. Two years of blabbing about what I had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Two years of barely-tested recipes, uninformed opinions, mediocre food photos and an enduring dislike of beets. Two years of messing up my kitchen, girded in my trusty apron, and telling you how it turned out.

And many of you keep coming back! Gee whiz! Thank you so much!

Blogging my messy, seasonal adventures has gone beyond a hobby to become a habit, and is rapidly becoming a lifestyle. As I look back at the nearly 200 posts I’ve flung out there, I’m a little surprised that I’ve posted so regularly, typed so many words, uploaded so many photos, tried so many new things. I’m thrilled that the number of readers seems to be increasing. I’m somewhat amazed that my attention-challenged self has kept with this for two years. And I can’t believe I’ve eaten that much food.

I don’t think much is going to change in the new Messy Apron year that begins today. Certainly my focus will stay the same: trying to cook seasonally with as many local and sustainable ingredients as I can get my hands on (and can afford), cooking through my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, keeping my Whole Food Quotient (WFQ) high, having fun, enjoying my meals and snacks, and not obsessing about any of the above. Let’s face it. Healthy sustainability is virtuous (and trendy), but without some homemade ice cream or cookie dough on my apron, I’m just going to feel deprived…and cranky.

I have added a new feature in the column to the right titled “On the Back Burner.” Here, I’ll be listing some of the things I’ve been considering lately, and projects I’m working on, like the
“Cooking from My Bookshelf” challenge I’m planning to force myself to embrace. It involves cooking at least one new (that is, untried by me) recipe from each of the cookbooks I own.

Um, wish me luck with that one.

Since I’ve added “On the Back Burner,” I’ve changed “What I’ve Been Eating” to “On My Plate (and My Apron)” just so it matches a bit better. I’ve also included, under “The Messy Apron Extras,” a link to a Recipe Index by Category (Soups, Desserts, etc.) along with the Alphabetical Recipe Index. Don’t forget, if you can’t find something in the index, you can search for it with the handy-dandy Google application in the right column as well. I also recently added some guidelines for commenting on posts. I’d love to hear more from you.

Launching and sustaining The Messy Apron has been one of the most engaging and satisfying things I’ve ever done. Sometimes it’s a lot like work, but it’s fun, it’s productive, it’s a learning experience, and it’s a social connection. And, best of all, it’s delicious. Thanks so much for reading!

Here are the ten recipes from posts from the last year (April 16, 2010-today) that have been visited most by readers.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Tomato and Olive Galette
Apple Turnovers with Dried Fruit
Seitan Stir Fry with Asparagus, Green Beans and Black Bean Garlic Sauce
Plum Upside-Down Yogurt Cake
Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Mustard Rye Croutons
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Milk Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies
Finnish Cardamom Bread   
Red Flannel Hash with Spicy Mustard

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dressing for Spring

As the air gets warmer, the sun comes out and the grass starts growing, I usually start to think about the seasonal shift in my wardrobe: switching sweaters for blouses, unearthing skirts and open-toed shoes, deciding whether I’m optimistic enough to bring out a pair of shorts or two. This only gets a little of my attention, however, as I am much more concerned with what I’m going to put on my spring salad greens.

That’s right, the locally-grown salad greens are in! My home-town food co-op carries a tender, delicate mix of sweet, slightly bitter, and tantalizingly tart baby greens that have been grown nearby (presumably in hot houses or cold frames). This beautiful bounty beats the pants off of anything being trucked in from the Emerald City, or wherever green things come from in the winter. They deserve to be specially treated. Gloppy, phony, over-processed bottled dressings need not apply.

About the time the greens came to my attention, a spicy coconut and lime salad dressing recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine (April 2011) also grabbed my notice. As a great lover of coconut, I was excited to try it. I didn’t, however, want it to overwhelm my delicate salad greens, so I toned down the spice a bit by adding less chile. I used light coconut milk, because that’s what I keep in the cupboard, and made a few other minor tweaks.

The result was fabulous! The flavor of the dressing is very lime-forward, but its taming by the creamy, lightly sweet coconut milk keeps it from being lip-puckering. There’s just a bit of heat from the chile pepper (you could use more or retain some seeds if you want it spicier), and the other ingredients, which can be quite assertive (mint and scallion) or cloying (coconut milk) don’t seem to be trying to compete. (In fact, the coconut taste is very subtle. My husband might actually eat this!) Overall, the result is a peaceful, mellow melding of scents and flavors and not a war of harsh and bitter individuals.

The dressing went beautifully with the salad I prepared, which included thin-sliced celery, scallions, a few mint leaves and roasted, salted sunflower seeds in addition to the baby greens. It’s definitely a creamy dressing, but it isn’t heavy like buttermilk, sour cream, or mayonnaise-based dressings that might have crushed the delicate little lettuces. (Those heavier dressings will have their day when the bigger, more mature lettuces come along in a couple months.) This was definitely a very attractive ensemble (I particularly recommend accessorizing with sunflower seeds) and I am perfectly confident that at least my salads will be well-dressed for spring.

Coconut Lime Dressing
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine

Grate the lime zest (preferably with a microplane grater) before squeezing the lime. It’s extremely difficult if you do it afterwards.

½ cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral oil)
½ teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together until well-combined. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes about ¾ cup.

Another recipe like this one: Buttermilk Herb Salad Dressing

One year ago: Pasta with Cauliflower and Cashew Sauce

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stand-By Stir Fry

When I’ve got more vegetables than I know what to do with, lounging in my refrigerator, not earning their keep, I often give up on trying something new and exciting with them and just throw them all in a stir fry. Recently what I had to work with, due to a serious case of forced refrigerator neglect, was a chunk of cabbage and some die-hard root vegetables, namely red and white daikon radishes (like the ones I described in this post), lots of carrots and a lonely turnip whose storage partner had bitten the dust.

It was either soup or stir fry. The warming weather left me with a little less need for soupy comfort, so stir fry it would be. Besides, I had a hankering for a zesty, gingery sauce that would work well with these veggies (or so I thought, and I was right enough). I borrowed that sauce from a favorite chicken stir fry recipe from Cooking Light magazine.

For me, the average week-night stir fry is highly impromptu and improvisational. There are some winning combinations that I go back to whenever I can, like green beans, mustard greens and peanuts or broccoli and water chestnuts, but I usually just fling what I have in a hot wok with some flavorful aromatics and douse it in a thickened sauce toward the end. In the case of the cabbage and these hefty, zesty root vegetables, I cut them into matchstick pieces (well, kind of thick matchsticks), which cook faster than chunks, but still retain some crunch when the frying is done. You could probably shred them in the food processor and save yourself some time (and repetitive stress) and they would cook even faster.

I think that whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand would go well with this lemony sauce. It has a great affinity for the ginger, which I julienned and added with the onions, garlic and dried chiles (you could grate it finely and stir it into the sauce instead.) With the amount of vegetables I used up in the recipe, the sauce ended up being a thick glaze with not much extra dripping down to the bed of rice on which I served the stir fry. If you like things a little more saucy, you could simply make a smaller stir fry.

That’s what I might do next time I make something like this. And there will be a next time. Although, with the way I use stir fry as a utility recipe, it probably won’t be exactly the same. And now that I finally figured out that I can just search for sauces within all those recipes out there and pour them over my wok-cooked vegetables, there might just be even more seasonal stir fries than there were before.

Root Vegetable and Cabbage Stir Fry with Ginger and Lemon
Partially based on a recipe in Cooking Light magazine.

Use an assortment of sweet, bitter and spicy root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, and daikon radishes. While the cooking time is short in this recipe, the vegetables will take significant time to prepare. If you are serving with rice, begin cooking it while you’re preparing the other ingredients.

grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil, canola oil or vegetable oil
½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
about 3 tablespoons peeled and julienned fresh ginger
1-2 dried chile peppers (I used 2 and it was quite spicy)
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
4 cups assorted root vegetables, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 bunch scallions, diagonally sliced (about 1 cup)

1. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, soy sauce, and honey. Whisk together to combine. Whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved. Whisk in the sesame oil and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until the onions just begin to brown.

3. Add the garlic, ginger, and dried chiles. Stir fry for 30 seconds.

4. Add the cabbage and root vegetables. Stir fry for about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and lightly browned. Stir in the green onions and cook and stir 30 seconds more.

5. Stir the sauce mixture to re-distribute the cornstarch. Pour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly until thickened and the vegetables are coated with the sauce. Remove from the heat. Serve with rice or noodles. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days.

Makes 3-4 servings

Other recipes like this one: Mustard Greens and Green Bean Stir Fry with Peanuts; Seitan Stir Fry with Asparagus, Green Beans and Black Bean Sauce; Szechuan Broccoli and Water Chestnut Stir Fry

One year ago: Corn Chowder with Edamame

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lemon, Olives and Feta

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.  I rarely hesitate to put feta cheese and kalamata olives in salads with greens or beans, pasta dishes, and tarts and on pizzas, but for some reason it never occurred to me to put them in a cabbage slaw.  That is, until I read the interpretation of “Lahanosalata” in Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman.

I’ve put various vinaigrettes and creamy dressings on cabbage slaws and flavored them up with caraway, coriander, apple jelly, and horseradish. I’ve applied sesame vinaigrettes and spicy peanut dressings. I’ve added carrots, apples, cauliflower, radishes, turnips and packaged ramen noodles. But never feta cheese and kalamata olives. Huh. Well. I’m glad I was able to remedy that flaw in my repertoire.

This salad is a less summer-weather-dependent version of the Greek salad with which we’re all probably somewhat familiar. It leaves out the tomatoes and cucumber, which are unreliable at best in the supermarkets this time of year. In lieu of the more familiar lettuce or spinach that demand to be eaten as soon as the lemony dressing is poured upon them is sturdier shredded cabbage. It’s quite simple, really, and if, like me, you have a lonely cabbage threatening to dry up in your neglected refrigerator and you can’t quite face another traditional slaw, it’s a revelation. It’s exciting. It’s delicious.

I added even more lemon juice and a little lemon zest to the dressing. I liked its pucker-y zing, but if you don’t care for foods so tart or acidic, you might want to leave out a tablespoon of juice just to be safe. You can always add more if you want it. The same goes with salt. I kept the amount small, since the feta and olives contribute a lot of their own saltiness, and the acidity of the lemon juice fills in some of the flavor necessity for me that salt might in a blander dish. I recommend tasting for salt after the salad has been sitting for the recommended time in the recipe below and deciding then if it needs more.

I also added a bit of fresh parsley and a smidgeon of fresh rosemary. The rosemary just gives that little, little piney note that I like in a lemony, feta-y, olive-y dish, but I wouldn’t want it to dominate the flavors like it so easily can. Just a tiny bit is enough, and if you don’t have rosemary on hand, it probably wouldn’t be worth buying a bunch just for the pinch I added to this slaw.

Whatever you do, at least try to remember this treatment of cabbage slaw. In fact, go make it right now. Okay, at least write the idea down. It’s really great.

Cabbage Slaw with Feta and Olives
Adapted from Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman

6 cups thinly sliced or shredded cabbage (about ¾-1 whole small head)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (optional)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine cabbage, red onion, olives, feta, parsley and rosemary in a very large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until very well blended. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss gently to coat evenly. Let stand 30 minutes refrigerated or at room temperature. Taste for salt and adjusting seasoning before serving. Refrigerate leftovers for a few days

Makes 6-8 servings.

Other recipes like this one: Radish and Carrot Slaw with Zesty Citrus Dressing, Deconstructed Spanakopita Salad, Chickpea and Olive Salad with Greek Flavors

One year ago: Chicken and Vegetable Tetrazzini