Cook the Book Fridays – Raw Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Raw Veggie Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing

What better time for a classic summer salad than a weekend bookended by two national holidays? Slaws are classic picnic and barbecue food and this one stands up to any I’ve tried. This recipe is also a blueprint for enjoying slaws year-round, with an host of suggested vegetables and fruits to complement its garlicky dressing. This time, I chose red cabbage, green onions, radishes, flat-leaf parsley, and some tarragon fresh from my balcony garden. In winter, I might choose broccoli or Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, and red onion.

The dressing is truly garlicky, calling for two full tablespoons of garlic to one cup of mayonnaise. I made a vegan version, using vegan mayo, and it translated quite well. Vegan mayos have improved immensely over the last few years, I’ve found. I quartered the dressing recipe, made half the quantity of salad, and still had some dressing left over. It will be gone quickly – it’s so good, it could serve as a dip. It’s a terrific combination of garlic, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

Raw Veggie Slaw

I’ll be adding this dressing to my regular rotation. I can’t remember the last time I bought a bottle of salad dressing. There are so many great scratch recipes for them and I like being able to make dressings in small quantities – that way, they never go to waste, unlike past bottled dressings that expired long before I could finish them.

I hope my Canadian and American friends are enjoying their long weekend and those in other parts of the world have a relaxing weekend, too.

You can read through everyone’s posts here. And consider joining this community of wonderful cooks and lovely people, as we work our way through David LebovitzMy Paris Kitchen.

Cook the Book Fridays – Fattoush

Fattoush

I don’t think of salads as diet food. It’s what I was raised to do, but the days of wan supermarket lettuce, with its limp produce aisle cohorts are long gone. These days, lettuce is early summer fare, along with freshly-dug radishes and scallions. It’s not quite time for tomatoes and cucumbers, but today’s fresh market offerings are better than the supermarket fare of yore (yore being the late 20th Century).

Salads are a broader category for me now, too. Shaved Brussels sprouts or cabbage might go into a winter salad, roasted tomatoes and eggplant into a high summer version. But right now, salads look a lot like the ones in my elementary school picture books – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, carrots – they’re all fair game.

Fattoush with za'atar

Tonight’s salad is fattoush, which adds a healthy dose of flat-leaf parsley and mint to a mix of romaine, onion, radishes, and cucumbers. It’s tossed in a lemony, garlicky, mustardy vinaigrette and finished with grindings of black pepper and a sprinkling of sumac. I’m out of sumac, so I substituted za’atar. I’m glad I did, because there’s lots of sumac, but it also adds a burst of thyme and sesame.

My bowl included pieces of pita that had been brushed with olive oil and crisped in the oven. The gluten-free version included crispy rice crackers instead. Both were full of flavour.

There will be many more summer salads this year, but I’ll be revisiting this one regularly, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

Fattoush on a wicker tray

You can read through everyone’s posts here. And consider joining this community of wonderful cooks and lovely people, as we work our way through David LebovitzMy Paris Kitchen.

Cook the Book Fridays – Winter Salad

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It’s been a while now, since French Fridays with Dorie wrapped up. I’ve missed our weekly check ins, but have found myself woefully inept at keeping up with everyone’s blog posts. Some of our group joined the Cottage Cooking Club and others are working through Baking Chez Moi with Tuesdays with Dorie, both of which have provided some prompts to check in.

But, the Cottage Cooking Club meets only once a month and I don’t keep up with Tuesdays with Dorie as often as I’d like, since so many of my family and friends are avoiding sweets. So, I’m happy to say that there is a new way for us all to keep in touch.

Katie, from the Prof Who Cooks, backed up by our fabulous French Fridays admins, Betsy and Mary, has set up a website called Cook the Book Fridays, so that our group of cooking friends can work our way through David LebovitzMy Paris Kitchen together – and who knows, after that? The project is similar to the one that brought us together in the first place, cooking through a Paris-inspired cookbook, full of recipes for every course.

I’m happy that there will be another excuse to visit, virtually, and I’m hoping that these adventures will be shared by cooking friends old and new.

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Today marks the beginning of the project and we’ve started with a seasonal dish that’s simple to assemble, but full of Parisian panache. This Winter Salad, with its matchsticks of Belgian endive and roquefort and Greek yogurt dressing, is delicious. It’s also a perfect example of how salads can be much more interesting when they’re viewed through the lens of seasonal eating. There’s nothing worse than a salad of limp, out-of-season greens. But, when you realize a salad can be made from whatever looks freshest and interesting at the greenmarket, things start to look up.

My take on this included gorgonzola and red pear, as I didn’t make it to the cheese store in time for roquefort. I ran over to an Italian deli instead, and picked up a mild Canadian gorgonzola. I measured the ingredients in tablespoons, instead of cups, as I was the only one eating this salad tonight. I still ended up with enough dressing to make it again tomorrow. I have a spear of endive and half a pear waiting in the refrigerator. I’m looking forward to a repeat of this dish for lunch.

I think we’ve started off on a promising note. I’ve had the book since it came out, but haven’t cooked out of it nearly as much as I’d have liked. Now, I’ll be working through the whole thing with some of my favourite bloggers.

Join us?

You can read through everyone’s posts here. And consider joining this community of wonderful cooks and lovely people, as we work our way through David Lebovitz’ My Paris Kitchen.

FFWD – Hélène’s All-White Salad

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My salad for this week’s assignment wasn’t so much white as spring green, matching the turn of weather we’ve had this week. After a period of cold, damp weather that seeped into the bone, it now feels like time to put away heavy coats and sweaters until autumn rolls around.

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It’s also that in-between time where there isn’t much produce that’s in season, save for a few brassicas and storage fruits and vegetables. So, salad featuring cabbage and apples is perfect for this time of year. With mushrooms for meatiness and celery for extra crunch, this salad made for a surprisingly filling dinner.

I wasn’t sure about the lemon-yogurt dressing – it was entirely too tart when I tasted it. The sweetness of the apples in the salad transform the taste, though. I think if I make it again, I’ll add in a shot of apple juice to make it a little more versatile.

Kevin skipped the dressing altogether and sprinkled some lemon juice on his, instead. He’s trying to work toward becoming vegan, or at least vegan-ish, so some French Fridays assignments may get put off until I have a meat-eating audience at hand, as last week’s Boeuf à la Ficelle did. Maybe I’ll do a game version of that one for my parents some time.

If you’re looking for a meatless meal that suits this season, you can find the recipe for this week’s dish here.

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You can check out everyone else’s white-on-white greens here: Hélène’s All-White Salad