I know what my strengths and weaknesses are as a cook and I'd say that one thing I'm consistent with are salads and slaws. Like soups, I love the countless possibilities, the endless flavor combinations. You can go sweet, spicy, creamy, zesty. Whichever way you want it. You can make them during any season, using any produce that's available. I guess I'm kind of geeking over this, but I think they're a wonderful addition to meals. Especially epic dinners like a Thanksgiving feast, where the table tends to be overloaded with cream and butter and cheese (you know, all the good stuff). A bright, crunchy salad can lighten it all up.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, this next week we have a lot going on. On Saturday, we're hosting our annual Friendsgiving and have 18 guests joining us. Usually, I'm pretty stressed over the whole thing, but this year I'm really not worried. I guess I know it'll all come together. There'll be food and drinks and people will have a great time. That's really all that matters. We're staying local for the actual Thanksgiving festivities, doing brunch with Eric's father and then heading over to do dinner with his mom.
I may or may not pop in next week to post something else. If I don't, I hope everyone has a happy and delicious holiday.
SHAVED CAULIFLOWER AND RADICCHIO SALAD WITH GINGER-LEMONGRASS DRESSING
Yield: 6-8 servings, as a side
1 small cauliflower
1 head radicchio
3 scallion, light and dark green parts only, sliced on the bias
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon chopped lemongrass
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Using a large chef's knife, remove the green leaves, as well as the stem, from the cauliflower. Quarter the cauliflower and then cut the pieces into thin (approximately 1/4-inch thick) slices. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Thinly slice radish and radicchio and add that, along with the scallion, to the bowl with the cauliflower.
In a separate bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until blended. Taste for seasoning and add salt. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add more salt.