Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

A crunchy, spicy red cabbage salad flavored with miso and ginger. Ideal as a side for Asian meals, or as a standalone lunch. Just don’t call it a slaw!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to serve alongside the Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps we were planning on making, I knew I wanted something bright and fresh to counter-balance the rich grilled beef.

That’s when I decided to take our Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad recipe and mix it up a bit. I love, love, love miso and the addition of it gives this dressing a richness that is almost creamy, though there’s no mayo or any dairy in it. It’s actually almost a nutty flavor. Matt said it tasted like the peanut sauce you get with satay, but even better (and there’s no peanut in it either). It also happens to be vegan and can be made gluten free if you use tamari in place of the soy and use a GF miso, like this one).

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing
Vegetables are so pretty.

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Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Pistachios and Parmesan

This farro salad with butternut squash and hardy kale lets you imagine it’s actually spring while using up the last of your winter produce. 

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Pistachios and ParmesanYay, it’s officially Spring! Also boo, it’s officially snowing.

Here in the Hudson Valley we had one fleeting afternoon of warmth but then, like a high school bully who tells you your sneakers are cool so you’ll look down and then flicks you on the forehead, we got sucker punched.  Even the chickens were like, “Seriously? We are so over this,” when I went to the coop this morning.

Every year I forget that Spring vegetables like ramps and asparagus don’t start to show up at the Farmer’s Market until mid-April at the earliest so right now, it’s mostly the same selection you find in Fall. Which is not a terrible thing when you can get great stuff like butternut squash, apple cider and baby kale.

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Pistachios and Parmesan

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Spring Salad with Eggs

Spring Salad with Eggs

When it comes to things like fashion*, I’ve never been accused of being too colorful. As a born and raised New Yorker, my idea of wearing a rainbow consists of black, dark gray, heather gray, and maybe, if I’m feeling particularly spring-like, medium gray.

(*One exception: hair color. I’ve pretty much done them all, including green, blue, pink and many, many iterations of reds, blondes and blacks).

Somehow though, nothing makes me happier than a big, bold, colorful salad. It’s so satisfying to see nature’s bounty, all tossed together in a pleasingly chaotic array of hues.

While it’s still kind of slim-pickings at the a farmer’s market, we did manage to find some lovely red and yellow cherry tomatoes. Combined with avocado, hard boiled eggs, and best of all,  Quick-Pickled Red Onions and Sweet & Sour Pickled Radishes, this salad is as pretty as it is delicious. 

Spring Salad with Eggs

The nice thing is, if you’ve gone to the (minimal) trouble of making the pickles, you can use some of the seasoned vinegar to make a delicious, simple vinaigrette.

Nerd Tips:

  • Don’t over-cook the eggs! That will prevent the gross sulphur green ring around the yolk.
  • If you use bacon, you can also make a warm bacon-vinaigrette. Yum.
  • Want more protein? Add beans (I love cannellini beans best)
  • Like lots of crunch? Add 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts (or pecans, hazelnuts or even peanuts).

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Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad with Honey Balsamic Glaze

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I’m kind of weird with mint. I think I associate it too closely with toothpaste so I’m super picky about when I use it. I really, really don’t like it anywhere near my ice cream, chocolate or potatoes. It’s perfect with watermelon and feta though. I decided to make a glaze with honey and balsamic vinegar to brighten the sweet and tart flavors. I left the shallots out this time (because I was tired and forgot them). It was still good but a touch of sharp shallot helps bring it over to the savory side. This is so summery and incredibly quick to make. 
I must be on a sweet/salty kick because when I bought this watermelon, I couldn’t wait to chop it up and throw some feta and mint on that bad boy (Sorry, not sure why I’m talking like Guy Fieri all of a sudden. Shudder.). This is a classic combination which just really works in a “greater than the sum of it’s parts” sort of way.
Don’t forget to buy a seedless watermelon. I got a seeded one by accident and it made it slightly annoying to eat. While I do enjoy spitting watermelon seeds like a trucker spitting dip, it’s less hilarious when it’s in my living room and I’ve got to clean it up. 

Arugula, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

imageMatt and I used to live just around the corner from one of the best Italian specialty stores in Brooklyn. Caputo’s. Oh dio, this place is fantastic. They import the best stuff from Italy and make their own sausages and fresh pastas. They also make mozzarella and ricotta several times a day so it’s always extremely fresh. Needless to say, we were there a lot.

Note: This story gets a little sad… It was actually the owner’s elderly father who made the mozzarella and he liked to pick out the perfect ball for each person, dip it in the salty brine and hand it to you himself. It was very sweet. So one day Matt and I go in and order a bunch of stuff and as we’re chatting with the old man, he asks us how long we’ve been married. We tell him and he tears up, grabs my hand and tells me that his wife died. So of course, I tear up as he says how much he misses her. Now the old man and I are creating quite an awkward spectacle. Not what people expect to see as they’re buying their gnocchi. The owner comes out from the back and calms his dad and explains that his mom actually passed away a few years ago but his dad forgets this. Then he kindly hands me a tissue as I am no longer at all sanitary.

After that day, for some reason, every time the old man saw me, he would burst into tears. I felt so bad that I was triggering this reaction that I would lurk outside to see if the old man was there, and if he was, I would get the counter guys to sneak a mozzarella ball into my order while I would duck behind the counter. He stopped working eventually but mozzarella now has this bitter-sweet association for me. Maybe now it will for you too! You’re welcome.

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