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.
The British History Podcast — Jamie is an excellent history buff and you will not be bored.
Spilled Milk — Molly from Orangette’s irreverent food podcast, alongside Matthew Mster-Burton.
Thrilling Adventure Hour — comedy in the style of old-time radio with many familiar voices.
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks — does what it says on the tin.
Our Hen House — a fantastic resource on animal rights and vegan culture.
The Infinite Monkey Cage — Physics and science made awesome!
this looks so tasty! just the kind of salad i want in the summertime.
i love the bugle! and TAL, as well. others i listen to: how did this get made (a silly podcast about terrible movies hosted by comedians), the pod f. tompkast (a podcast by comedian paul f. tompkins), the splendid table (food), and selected short (short stories read by actors). i will also listen to pretty much any podcast coming out of wfmu, but my favorites are the best show, seven second delay, sinner’s crossroads, and downtown soulville.
Thanks Marisa! I’ve listened to Spilled Milk and love it – though I’m not sure how much the husband would like it. Lots I haven’t heard of! Yay.
Ara Jane, C loves the Old Codger on WFMU. I’ll have to listen to your recs – how did this get made sounds awesome! thank you!
Holy. Crap. I JUST made a salad almost identical to this one yesterday! I used kale, red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, mint and cilantro, and buckwheat noodles, and almond butter instead of peanut. Took it for lunch today at work…and just ate the rest for dinner 😉 Darn, now I have to make more!
Great podcast suggestions! I love TAL and Planet Money and I’ve been looking to get into some new podcasts. Looking forward to trying out your ideas.
I never know what to do with kohlrabi, so this salad is a more than welcome suggestion! thanks for the great idea!
I also like Spilled Milk!
And I LOVE The History Chicks. Beckett and Susan discuss women from history – all over the place. Everything from Queen Mary to Rosa Parks to Clara Bow to Cinderella legends.
And Homefries puts out several good ones. I like Simple Mom’s and Joy the Baker’s. They’re pretty self-explanatory. 🙂
Vanessa, I guess great minds think alike! I love the idea of mint and buckwheat noodles. Sounds great. Maybe try this version next 🙂
Thanks Emily, I hope you find some good ones!
Eileen, we usually get kohlrabi in our CSA share and I tend to use it in salads. This is my favorite way so far!
Jessica, thanks for the recs!
whenever I come back from a trip I always feel like I need veggies infused into my veins!! I just eat so much of them every day that it’s never enough when I’m not preparing my own food. I can definitely see the allure of this salad dressing!!
kale and podcasts. two of my very favorite things. thank you! This American Life on NPR and The Archers on BBC. My own podcast indulgences.
I really love Wait, Wait! It’s fun to listen to while cooking or doing things around the house on Saturdays. You have all of my favorites up there and more that I will look into! Such a pretty salad and I love the sound of the dressing. Space oddity is the perfect description for kohlrabi, ha.
I love podcasts! I can’t keep up, I listen to so many. I use Downcast instead of iTunes to download them and I like it better, but I can’t really explain why. I guess because it’s more automatic.
I’m all over your list, and I have to put a second vote in for Mike and Tom Eat Snacks. It’s so wonderful.
My other favourite podcasts are on the Maximum Fun network, particularly Judge John Hodgman, Stop Podcasting Yourself, and My Brother My Brother and Me. If you’re still looking, look into the Earwolf and Nerdist families of podcasts, like Comedy Bang Bang or You Made it Weird.
I love the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast. It’s put out by discovery channel and the hosts are hilarious! They discuss one topic each podcast, and it varies from how muppets work, to how noah’s ark worked. It’s very informative and fun to listen to. “Stuff You Missed in History Class” is also a good one.
Yowie, zowie this sounds good! I’ve never eaten raw chard, but it won’t be long now…
Well I can’t say that I listen to any different podcasts than you, these are my roadtrip and house cleaning standbys! But there are a few on there I need to check out. Just wanted to post about how much I love this blog and reference it almost anytime I need an idea – such as, what else can I put peanut butter in. Also, being from the midwest, I appreicate your kind words about it on your trip! It’s hard to explain the charm out there sometimes.
I drive around rural Saskatchewan for work, so I listen to an embarrassing amount of CBC radio. I love Under the Influence, and it’s predecessor, the Age of Persuasion.
Wiretap, hosted by Jonathan Goldstein. Partly listening into his conversations, partly fiction.
The Next Chapter, hosted by Shelagh Rogers, for great discussions of books, mostly Canadian.
The Wild Side, hosted by Grant Lawrence. Tales of adventures in the wilderness.
Joanne, I need to be a better veggie eater – you are the queen! But yes, agreed about road trips. Need my veg fill afterwards.
Nicole, I do too! I’ll have to get some speakers set up in the kitchen so that I can listen to podcasts as I cook, that sounds awesome.
Lydia, thanks for your recommendations! I think I heard about the bugle from your tumblr, maybe???
Awesome, thanks Jennifer, that sounds so good.
Sharyn, it’s great raw. I never have either but I figured it was too gorgeous not to. Why should it be cooked all the time 🙂
Erin, thank you for your nice words about this blog! I’m so glad to hear that. And I’m also thrilled that I had the opportunity to travel around some new places. I love travel because of the new perspectives it gives.
Trefoil, yes, Age of Persuasion! I couldn’t remember what it was called, but we listened to that a LOT! I just listened to The Next Chapter the other day because the book I’m reading was featured (The Underground – a Canadian novel, and very good). I’ll look into the Grant Lawrence one, thanks!
Kohlrabi, kohlrabi! We’ve been getting ’em in our CSA box, too, and talk about an under-appreciated vegetable. So good in salads! I’ve been looking for a new dressing, so thank you. I’m going to try to track down some of that umeboshi vinegar you speak of. I trust you, so I have a feeling it’ll be worth the hunt…
As for podcasts, I second your Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! love. Peter Sagal is terrific, and it may be lighter fare, but you tell Cornelius that I always do learn something. Other podcasts: You hit most of my favorites, but have you ever listened to Car Talk? (You totally don’t have to be into car stuff – I’m not. It’s just great. You’ll see.) They’re going to be calling it quits in October after 25 years on the air, but the archives are rich. Also, The Moth for live storytelling. And have you ever gotten lost down the rabbit hole of Public Radio Exchange? Ooooo, I could spend all afternoon listening…
This was an awesome salad – especially the dressing, like you said. Thanks!
Ooooh I’m totally trying out the dressing -looks fantastic!
The only podcast I’ve ever listening to is the Ricky Gervais Show which my boyfriend LOVES and made me listen to it on our road trip. It was hilarious!
I’ve never seen a Kohlrabi before! They look pretty funny. But the dressing for this sounds amazing!
Also, in the recipe, you’ve put ‘rainbox’, which sounds kinda cute, but I’m sure it’s not what you’re going for!
Thanks for the recipe! I used two kinds of lettuce, and chopped some hard boiled eggs over top to make a delicious dinner.
Hooray for kohlrabi, right, Jess?!!! I love it (though maybe not so much the gigantic ones we get near the end of the season). And go for the umeboshi – it’s salted plum vinegar and how good does that sound! Good, right? Thanks for your podcast list and I will wag my finger at C a little.
Shauna, so glad you enjoyed this as much as we did!
Thanks Lucy, it’s a good one 🙂 Oooh, good call on Ricky Gervais!
Ursula, they look like little space creatures or something! Uh, that would be “rainbow” chard not rainbox. Typo!
Sarah, oooh good call with the hard boiled eggs! Glad you enjoyed it.
99% Invisible is one of my favorite podcasts; It’s about design and architecture and I’ll bet you’d like it. The Food Network site has a Massaged Kale Salad that is a staple in our house, so I thought I’d enjoy this salad. Although the dressing was fine, the raw greens were too brash for my mouth; perhaps more dressing or more lime would have helped.
I think I’m the only person who ever leaves negative comments on this site. If you’d prefer less candor, let me know.
Noshing on salads is the way I’m swinging lately, especially when it’s 38ºC outside with the humidex. Yes, good ol’ humid TO. Surprisingly, I’ve never eaten kohlrabi before as I didn’t know what to do with it. Maybe next time I’m at the supermarket, I’ll stop and take notice 🙂 Your dressing sounds absolutely divine however. I’ve been eyeing the umeboshi plum vinegar for a while now at the supermarket but haven’t taken the plunge to get a bottle since I currently have 4 other vinegars in my cupboard and don’t want to appear too greedy. Does that even make sense? As for Podcasts, I only know of ‘This American Life’ and ‘Quirks and Quarks’ which is one of my personal favourites. Thanks for posting links of your other faves!
Thanks for the podcast recommendation, Robert, sounds like a good one. As for your candor, I appreciate it! Though, I did love this salad a lot – raw leaves, crunch and all (I’m not so much a fan of massaged kale salads – except in a tabbouleh where the texture almost mimics minced parsley (see recipe over at Poppytalk: http://poppytalk.blogspot.ca/2012/06/easy-luncheon-quinoa-kale-tabbouleh.html)
Joanne, kohlrabi is great in a salad – so crunchy and the texture reminds me a bit of jicima. Great for hot weather. Oh, and I feel for you & the hot weather you’ve been having! It’s been all pleasant here for the past 3 weeks when summer finally decided to arrive. I’m not one who does well in humidity and heat. Drink lots and keep hydrated!
That is one seriously gorgeous salad! Rainbow is right! Kohlrabi and umeboshi vinegar, too?! Living on the edge, my friend. This looks great!
Ha, thanks Christine 🙂