Category Archives: Salad

London and Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower salad

I just got back from a three week trip to Europe. It was the first time in five years that I’ve had more than a week off and it felt FANTASTIC. I barely thought about work and felt like I had little or no stress.

I’ll talk about more of my trip in a few other food related posts, but I’ll start with my first stop: London.

I traveled by myself to London and arrived Friday afternoon. I was really lucky to be able to spend so much time with my friends Will and Alyssa over the three day weekend. The highlights of our time together was:

  • The British Museum – I especially enjoyed seeing the Assyrian collection which was very large. Seeing the cuneiform writing and the Rosetta stone was also very thrilling!
  • The Churchill War Rooms – I wanted to do this over churches/art museums because it’s something uniquely British. There’s an excellent portion besides the bunkers that has a history of Churchill’s fascinating life, although I wish it had been better organized for the path one wanted to take. Did you know Churchill was somewhat of a onesie inventor? He loved to wear them, especially as an outfit to put on during an air raid.
  • Pubs – the pub culture was great in London, especially as Will, Alyssa and I all have a great appreciate for good beer. The meat pies were also very delicious. On Friday afternoon it was fun to see business people in suits all out on the street in front of pubs with their pints of beer.IMG_20150522_174159_079
  • Boat ride to Greenwich – I felt like Greenwich was completely overrated, but it was nice to spend an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of London. The boat took us to the Thames River Barrier which was an awesome feat of engineering. It was constructed to protect London from periodic flooding.

My first stop, even before going to my AirBnB rental, was at Ottolenghi’s Spitalfields location near Liverpool Street station. It was definitely the best meal of my whole trip, and all I got was a variety of take-away salads. It was so delightful that it was also one of my last meals in London as well! I’ve never had vegetables like this before, and the spices used were so different that what I normally eat.

Ottolenghi is the cookbook author of Jerusalem, Plenty, and Plenty More and is really “hip” right now. My mother-in-law and some of her friends are huge fans of his cookbook. After sampling straight from the source I came home feeling motivated to try new recipes.

The recipe can be found straight on Ottolenghi’s site. The website doesn’t contain directions (they are in the Jerusalem cookbook but all one has to do is roast the cauliflower and then combine all the ingredients).

There weren’t any pomegranates at the grocery store, so I added some Trader Joe’s Pomegranate vinegar to the dressing to add some of the flavor.

I really liked the salad but Sam said it smelled like German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) and refused to eat more than a bite. It has cinnamon and all spice in it, so the flavors are a bit different than in a typical salad and closer to red cabbage territory. I liked it so that’s all that matters!

My First Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I’ve had a bit of a love affair with kale the past year. Sauteed kale, veggies, and sausage is one of my default weeknight dinner meals. I toss it into soups, frittatas, and have enjoyed it raw in salads (notably at Serious Pie). I’ve never made a raw kale salad at home though, and I have been feeling like I’ve been in a salad rut lately. Romaine. Tomatoes. Cucumber. Balsamic Vinegar. The world of salads is so much greater than these ingredients, yet it’s so easy just to reach for the default that gets it done.

I got to leave work a bit early one day this week (after having been there very late a few other days this week) and used my time off to cook. My team just launched something BIG. Something I’ve been working on since I started my job 1.5 years ago, and something people have been working on for a decent amount longer. It’s involved some very, very late nights the past month so I haven’t been treating myself right. I used my free afternoon to bake a cake for the launch, a cake for my coworker’s birthday, and prepare some pizza sauce for a weekend trip with my Ultimate Frisbee team. And then I made this salad for me.

Sam was a skeptic of this salad and spent his first 6 or 7 bites grimacing. He then proceeded to eat normally and say I could make it again because it was quite delicious and he was just trolling. He enjoys messing with me a little too much! But I (secretly) like it.

I looked at a few kale salads to get inspiration and ended up basing mine off one I found on Serious Eats. I would probably make more dressing next time. If you have a particularly huge bunch of kale, definitely double the dressing part of it.

Kale Close Up

Kale and Stone Fruit Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
adapted from Suzanne Lehrer’s Make Ahead Roast Chicken and Kale Salad

  • One bunch kale ( russian red was especially delicious)
  • 2 nectarines (or some other stone fruit)
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Dressing

  • 3 T. Water
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp. tahini
  • 1 medium or small Lemon’s worth of juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper last to taste.
Wash Kale, remove stems, and chop leaves.
Cut nectarine into slices.
Chop almonds.
Combine all ingredients and toss.