"Jerusalem", along with its predecessor, "Plenty" are beautiful cookbooks. They are not kosher cookbooks although only a few pages, from my perspective, require a blind eye. The books, a sensual tactile experience holding their padded covers, are truly a visual feast. Full page photographs pull the reader to the table, the kitchen and the City. When I envision Joan Nathan's excursions, the trip is made to wholesome places wearing sensible shoes. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi offer a hitchhiking adventure into the foods of many cultures inhabiting Jerusalem. Wear denim, carry a hippie bag, and don't be afraid to try something new.
Admittedly, many ingredients are not available here in Seattle, especially kosher versions. So, I make do and substitute as necessary. This requires a certain amount of correcting of flavor before serving. Lemon and lime juices, vinegar, salt and pepper do wonders for brightening a salad. Adjust to suit your tastes.
In selecting this salad, I want to use ingredients I see around but never buy: celery root and kohlrabi. My sister, Leilani, joins me in the kitchen for a 'lets make some new stuff' day. She's never worked with celery root or kohlrabi, either. We taste the celery root and realize it is a dense form of celery. Only baby kohlrabi is available and after peeling and slicing, the verdict is sort of like a mild radish or a little bit spicy jicama. I hope the expense is rewarded with a unique flavor combination.
Over the course of the next couple of days, I serve the slaw to family and friends. Everyone wants to know what is in it other than beets. Most think the lighter matchsticks are jicama. No one knows from kohlrabi. Everyone agrees that they like the salad. The fresh mint, cilantro and parsley add to the burst of color and flavor. It's nice.
|Number of servings:||10 - 12 as a side dish|
|Skill Level:||1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)|
|Estimated POINT value:|
- 1 pound medium sized red beets
- 1/2 pound carrots
- 1/2 pound celery root
- 1/2 pound kohlrabi
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, more to adjust flavors at the end
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup mint leaves, julienned
- 2/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash and check herbs, set aside. Wash the root vegetables.
Peel the vegetables.
Slice the vegetables into thin matchsticks - mine were wider than the book says, about 1/8th thick.
As you work, soak the vegetables in a bowl of cold water. Surprisingly, the beet doesn't bleed into everything.
After slicing the vegetables, make the dressing. Put the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and 1 teasoon salt into a small sauce pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir until the sugar and the salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Drain the vegetables and pat with paper towels to remove excess water. Transfer to a bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss. Cool and then place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Prep the herbs. When ready to serve the salad, remove from the refrigerator and toss. Add the herbs, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and toss again. Taste. Adjust the flavors adding more lemon juice, salt and pepper as desired.
And, if you decide to use jicama, try lime juice and a little jalapeno, etc.
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Making Kosher Salads
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