September 23rd, 2022
With the warmer spring days, I find myself drawn to more salads and fresher flavours on the table. These salads are inspired by what is abundant at the vegetable shops plus the garden as we cross over into the warmer months and growth is increasing.
In the first salad below I use (or at least suggest using) brussels sprouts and yams. Not everyone’s favourites I know, but before you scroll past take a moment to consider how you prepare them. They can both be eaten raw, although I don’t recommend munching into a whole yam or sprout like you might a carrot. Instead, a small amount added to a salad brings different textures and flavours. And could also become a talking point at the dinner table (it was at ours this week).
You may not have eaten raw yams before but it is a thing. They are delightfully crunchy with a hint of sour flavour. Yams originate from the South American Andes where they are called ‘oca’, not to be confused with the ‘yams’ of Northern American cooking, which are in fact sweet potatoes, or kūmara as we know them. Yams contain oxalic acid, like many other plant foods such as spinach, sorrel and rhubarb, which lends these foods their sour flavour. If preferred, skip eating them raw using radish instead in the recipe below.
Spring Salad with Orange Dressing
- 8 brussels sprouts, about 200g, or use Chinese cabbage
- 2-3 yams or red radishes, about 100g
- 1-2 small fennel bulbs, about 250g
- 1 medium kohlrabi or 1-2 celery stalks, about 250g
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- ⅓ cup (50g) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 orange, about 4 tbsp
- juice of half a lemon, about 1-2 tbsp
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- The produce for this salad is best thinly sliced on a mandoline or using the slicing attachment on a food processor - or a sharp knife at a pinch, but take your time using this option as thinly sliced produce is the key to this salad.
- Using your chosen apparatus thinly slice the brussels sprouts, yams, fennel and kohlrabi or celery. Place into a large salad bowl, add a squeeze of lemon and toss to combine.
- Make the dressing. Combine the ingredients in a jug or jar and mix well to combine. Check the taste, adding extra lemon juice and/or salt to balance the flavour.
- Scatter the salad with the toasted hazelnuts, pour over the dressing and toss to combine just before serving.
Plus this wonderful salad/slaw. When I shared this recipe on socials recently it went slightly viral (such an odd term considering), so I am sharing it on my website as well in case you missed it, and so it is easy to find.
Tahini Ginger Slaw
- 3 cups (about 300g) thinly sliced green and/or red cabbage
- Half an apple, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot (about 150g) peeled and grated
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Tahini Ginger Dressing
- 4 tbsp tahini or peanut butter
- juice of 1 lime, about 1 ½ tbsp
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1-2 tsp sugar or honey
- 2 cm fresh ginger, about 1 ½ tbsp, finely grated
- 1-3 tbsp water
- Measure the dressing ingredients into the base of a salad bowl. Use a spoon to combine into smooth paste, adding extra water to thin as needed. The dressing will be thicker than usual but not so thick that it can’t be easily swirled. Check the taste, adding extra soy sauce or sugar if needed.
- Prepare the vegetables and apple. Place into the salad bowl, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and toss to combine. The dressing is on the thicker side so take your time to evenly mix everything together.
- If making this salad ahead of time, add the dressing just prior to serving.