Monday, May 10, 2010

Slaw of Coles with Tarragon and Mint

The other day I was reading how plants in the cole family contain important nutrients for humans. As I looked over the list of coles, I was amazed to see 16 plants, most of which will be available in abundance at our farmer's markets this summer and fall. At any given moment, I probably have three or four coles in my fridge. It struck me that combined in a "found" salad, they would probably be very tasty!

The coles are: kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collards, bok choy, tatsoi, chard, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, horseradish, mustard, arugula, and watercress.

By now you probably realize that I am trying to develop and promote the technique of getting maximum benefit from seasonal, market-fresh, local ingredients. To do that, a wonderful shopping technique to use is to buy what looks fresh and good to you at the market, then figure out what to do with it. That way, all your ingredients will appeal to you and be so very fresh that you can't, as I've said so many times before, go wrong.

The habit of buying the freshest ingredients and creating dishes will eventually provide you with a fistful of favorite recipes, and you will begin to look at a motley collection of vegetables and see, instead, a salad, side dish, soup, or other tasty combination.

The mint was added when I looked out the window and saw that my pot of mint had started to sprout.

This recipe makes a very light slaw with a delicate tarragon and mint flavor. It's a good accompaniment to a substantial main dish. If you'd like the slaw to be heartier, stir in a tablespoon of Dijon, an extra tablespoon of olive oil, and a little honey. You can also use the creamy dressing from this salad (adjust amounts to suit the volume of your greens) or go Oriental by adding fresh ginger and garlic.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
A grind of pepper

2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups sliced arugula
1 bunch sliced radishes
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper thoroughly in a large bowl. Toss in the coles and herbs and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.

Makes 6 hearty servings.

1 comment:

  1. The salad looks great and sounds tasty, I think it will make the perfect side dish for dinner.