Friday, July 8, 2011

Tiger Salad

In the summer, it's very easy to lose track of what day it is. Normally, it's not an issue if I have no idea whether it's Monday or Tuesday, but on Wednesday, my mom and I forgot all about the Wednesday farmer's market. Without any fresh vegetables or fruit, we faced an empty fridge for dinner. Luckily, we had a bag of carrots, half a watermelon, and one kohlrabi.

Two light salads made our summery supper. Both are great food for a warm night or a picnic. The first salad was cubed watermelon and little cubes of feta with plenty of basil. The juicy watermelon doesn't need any dressing, just the salty feta to make a refreshing salad.

The second salad was a bit of an adventure. Kohlrabi is a dramatic vegetable because of its strange name and rare presence. It looks like something straight out of J. K. Rowling's imagination, but the taste is mild. Raw, it's very crunchy and juicy; cooked, it has the texture of a broccoli stem and tastes faintly of cabbage. It's great in sticks raw as a snack or in stir fries for an interesting texture. This week, though, we did something different with it. We grated it, making pure white, juicy shreds that we tossed with grated carrot. Brown vinegar would have ruined the bright colors, so we used seasoned rice vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar is great for light salads because you don't need to mix it with any oil to make a vinaigrette, you can just toss it on the vegetables. With some fresh herbs, we had a beautiful tiger-striped salad.

Tiger Salad

1 kohlrabi
4 small carrots (enough to make an equivalent volume to the kohlrabi)
fresh dill and cilantro (or other fresh green herbs)
seasoned rice vinegar to taste

Peel the kohlrabi with a knife, then grate it into a bowl. Peel and grate the carrots. Wash and finely chop the herbs. Toss the salad together with a large splash of vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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