Ever since we’ve been back from our trip, I’ve been going a bit koo-koo for salads. I think it was because life on the road didn’t include as much vegetable variety as we’re usually used to getting. So it’s salad headquarters around here and I couldn’t be happier. Last night I made a great Greek salad and proclaimed it the best salad ever (a recipe soon). And then today for lunch, I made this raw kale/swiss chard/kohlrabi concoction and then told anyone who would listen (uh, that would be my husband as we work from home) that this was the best salad ever. I’m generous with my proclamations, that I know.
But. This. Salad. Is. Amazing.
Almost all of the ingredients came from our local CSA*: the gorgeous red stemmed swiss chard, the purple & green curly kale, and the space oddity kohlrabi. The carrots and red pepper came from the local grocer down the street. Despite being a bit of an odd assortment of veg, everything not only looked beautiful together, but they had a fantastic crunch and texture – perfect for keeping cool this summer.
And don’t sweat it if you can’t find kohlrabi at your local market – substitute in some jicama or cucumber instead or whatever you’ve got laying around your crisper or garden plot.
The parts that make up this salad are delicious, clearly. But it’s the dressing that is a bit of a scene stealer. First of all, it’s got peanut butter in it (crunchy!!) which makes for a substantial salad topper. But wait, there’s more! Two juicy limes, please. Ginger, and lots of it. Garlic too because what’s a good salad without? I splashed in some umeboshi vinegar for added tartness and a bit of salt. If you don’t have any handy, skip it. Since the salted plum vinegar is salty enough, I went with a splash of salt-reduced soy sauce. There’s honey (or agave) for sweetness and my good friend sriracha for heat. Shake everything together and you’ve got a vinaigrette to be reckoned with.
Oh, and because I’m all hopped up on some good veg and feeling chatty, I’d love to know more about your favorite podcast! While we were on our road trip, we listened to a lot of different podcasts and I’m finding myself jonesing for more. Here’s the list of ones we loved:
- This American Life (obviously!)
- The Bugle (a funny political show co-hosted by John Oliver of the Daily Show – this gave us lots of chuckles)
- Fresh Air (lots of great interviews, hosted by Terry Gross)
- The Dinner Party (seems like a gimmicky format – culture tidbits structured around a dinner party – but it works!)
- RadioLab (while I love this podcast, it’s horrible for road trips since the sound mixing is kind of annoying)
- Quirks & Quarks (interesting science bits from the CBC’s always loveable Bob McDonald)
- Under the Influence (a glossy & light look at advertising)
- And can I put in a good word for Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me? Cornelius finds it a bit light (he likes to learn things), but I’d suggest you find the one with Will Oldham (uh, that is if you love Will Oldham like I do) as guest and give it a go.
Oh, and Planet Money was good too (I feel I have a much better understanding of the European debt crisis now). So what’s on your road trip podcast list? Share your list with me. But make the salad. Now. I’m waiting….
rainbow vegetable salad with peanut ginger dressing
Variations: Want to make this a more substantial dinner option? Toss in some diced cooked chicken or some squares of baked tofu. I think this would also be lovely served over thin vermicelli rice noodles or rolled up in a rice wrapper and then use the dressing as a dipping sauce. I’ll be trying that next!
1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems removed, sliced thinly
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed, sliced thinly
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, julienned
1 kohlrabi, julienned (or sliced cucumber or julienned jicama)
2 limes, juiced
3 T crunchy peanut butter (the natural kind)
2 T canola oil
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t umeboshi vinegar (if you don’t have any, leave it out)
1 t sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 t honey or agave syrup
a few shakes of sriracha, or your favorite hot sauce
Add all vegetables into a large bowl and toss well. Combine the remaining ingredients into a jar, screw on lid tightly and shake until well mixed. Taste & adjust seasoning if needed. Pour half over the salad and toss well, adding more dressing if you need it. Use any leftover dressing on other salads, or as a dip for fresh vegetables or spring rolls.
* Our CSA, Nathan Creek Organic Farm, is still looking for members so if you’re in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland and are interested, give them a try! There are drop off locations throughout the city. We’ve been with them for the past 4 years and have been quite happy with both the produce and the cost.