Sunday, August 9, 2020

Summer Spiral Slaw

Second crop of Seascape Strawberries
Hot summer days just scream fresh salads! The temperature in our house is bearable with the cross breeze from the ocean, but most evenings I really don't want to turn on the stove or oven. Right now the garden is producing lots of summer squash (multi-colored patty pans and several varieties of zucchini), cucumbers (Mercury and Diva in the greenhouse and Corentine in the garden for fermented dill pickles), early cabbage (Taiwan and Tiara), huge 'Easter Egg' radishes (that are surprisingly mild and not fibrous), scallions, 3 colors of bush beans, broccoli, figs (Desert King), fresh herbs (lovage, dillweed, oregano, rosemary), red romaine lettuce, Uncle Robert's purple potatoes, the end of the snap peas and the second crop of Seascape strawberries are starting. The garlic is cured, cleaned and cut with seed set aside for October planting. A busy time!
Garlic ~ cured, cleaned and trimmed
Taiwan Early Cabbage

I've given away a few of the fresh, early cabbage heads and one friend commented... "cabbage was on my shopping list, coleslaw is my favorite salad." Hmmm, that got me thinking because coleslaw is not a favorite of mine... BUT ...the early cabbage I grow is so sweet, delicate and tender that I snack on it while cutting or preparing it... so why not try a slaw with a twist (sorry, couldn't resist the pun!) 

Summer Spiral Slaw
With my favorite little spiralizer machine I 'zoodled' some yellow patty pans that got a bit big, a big radish, a seedless cucumber and a few carrots for texture and more color. I broke the vegetable noodles into  4-6" long pieces, tossed in some thinly sliced scallions and thinly sliced Taiwan early cabbage. 
Put the vegetable mixture into a bowl and poured over a recipe of my 'Paleo Vegetable Salad Marinade' posted last December. Let it sit for a few days and OMG, delicious!! Great as a side dish but I also drained some and used it instead of relish on a turkey burger, outstanding!! 
Instead of getting bored with the same old marinated vegetables, I gave this salad a summer twist with cabbage instead of cauliflower and spiralized all the other vegetables  that would have normally gone into the marinade (carrots, zucchini, cucumber, plus the addition of radish). Voila! ...a fun summer make over!

Until next time... Bon Appétit and have fun reinventing your salads!
Please stay healthy, be safe, wear a face mask and take good care...

Photos by Sally Rae
Recipes by Sally Rae 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing

Anyone who has dined out with me knows how much I love Caesar Salad Dressing ... I order a 'dressed Caesar Salad with extra dressing on the side'. I joke by saying 'bring me a soup bowl of dressing with a few leaves of Romaine.'

Joking aside, when my diet changed to Paleo, most commercial and homemade salad dressings are not allowed due to; the type of oils used, sulfites and other ingredients that are not Paleo compliant. 
Expensive and lacks zing
The store bought version of Paleo Caesar Dressing from Primal Kitchen costs about $10 for a 237ml bottle. It is soy and canola free, dairy free, made with apple cider vinegar, avocado oil and is Paleo friendly... BUT ... disappointing. To me it doesn't taste like the Caesar Dressing I crave. It is expensive and lacks the zing of garlic and tang of what I'm looking for. 

After being so disappointed with the cost and flavor of commercial versions of Paleo salad dressings, in particular Caesar, I started to experiment on a homemade version. I feel this one has been perfected to my liking. Certainly not the 'original Caesar Dressing', but for me a great step above the commercial version I've tried! It is garlicky, tangy with fresh lemon juice and so thick it has to be spooned out of a jar! It does thin down at room temperature but who wants to wait that long to devour your salad! I always make the 'Double Batch' in the **Chef's Notes below and it never stays in my fridge to the 3 week 'Best Before' date! Give it a try and let me know what you think in the Comments below. 

SALLY'S PALEO CAESAR SALAD DRESSING       Yield: about 1-1/2 cups
This thick, garlicky, tangy dressing has hit the spot for my Caesar Salad cravings, it is Paleo and dairy-free. 

2/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil (or use half avocado oil)
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons) *NO substitute!!
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. capers, well drained (or they will thin down the dressing)
1¼ tsp. (1-2 cloves) minced garlic
1 Tbsp. anchovy paste  
1½ tsp. Paleo friendly Dijon mustard (I use Maison Orphee brand)
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt, optional 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on low for 10-20 seconds until emulsified and thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking with more salt, pepper, oil or citrus juice. Store in an airtight glass jar, (not a bottle), in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Label and date the jar of dressing with the 'Best Before' 3 week date.
Sally's Paleo Caesar Dressing - thick, garlicky, tangy

**Chef's Notes:

  • Try the dressing first without added salt, the capers and anchovies might be salty  enough for your taste buds.
  • Drain the capers well for a thicker dressing.
  • Once refrigerated this dressing will be thick enough to spoon out of a jar. It will thin at room temperature.
  • To make a Double Batch: into a blender, measure 2/3 cup avocado oil and double the amount of all other ingredients.  Blend on medium speed, then reduce to low and slowly drizzle in 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil. Increase speed to medium and blend until emulsified and thick.  
Until next time... Bon Appétit!
Please stay healthy, be safe, wear a face mask and take good care...

Recipe by Sally Rae
Photos by Sally Rae