One of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite salads, not easily found outside of France, is celery root remoulade. It may be that it’s a little difficult to find celery root and it’s definitely not going to rank high in the lists of attractive vegetables (which may be why it’s not easy to find – we like attractive, perfect produce), so when my CSA had celery root last week I snatched it up! Here’s how I made my remoulade. (Make the dressing first as the celery root will tend to discolor.)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 knobs of celery root, peeled and grated (see below for peeling and grating ideas)
In a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, lemon juice and capers. Add the celery root, mix until well coated with the dressing, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: So good, took me right back to Paris! I used the grater disk on my food processor to grate the celery root, but you could use a grater or mandoline. To peel the root, cut off the top and bottom and peel the sides with a very sharp peeler (something I don’t own) or a paring knife. I remember the celeriac remoulade in France having capers, so I tossed some in, that’s up to you. And as always, homemade mayo is easy and makes the dish. If anyone has a recommendation for a really good vegetable peeler, please let me know. I have a drawerful of crappy ones.
If you’re on your own for dinner, do you cook for yourself? The Accidental Locavore does to a certain extent. It gives me the opportunity to try some things out, or to eat exactly what I want, but sometimes, you just want to keep it simple. I made this dressing from a recipe from the Perfect Pantry with all intentions of making the BLT salad it was to go on. However, a bowl of tomatoes kept staring at me and the idea of cooking bacon just seemed like work (yeah, it’s just cooking bacon, but…), so a dollop or two of this dressing on some great tomatoes was the perfect accompaniment to a simple grilled lamb chop. This makes about ¾ cup:
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (any kind is fine)
- 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (to make 2-3 tablespoons)
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
In a small blender, mini-food processor or with a stick blender, combine all the ingredients, until everything is well mixed and the dressing is a pale green. If it’s too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: As I said before, laziness prevented me from going the whole BLT salad route. The extent of my labor (after making the dressing) was to cut a couple of good heirloom tomatoes into ½” wedges and tossed them with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. I also added about a teaspoon of Maldon salt to the tomatoes, as I thought they needed more salt (but my husband will tell you I’m a salt fanatic). I also “cheated” and used my own homemade mayo and yogurt and homegrown basil, so it doesn’t get much better than that, right? This would be a great dressing in the middle of February, when you can get decent basil but nothing else. Some of it on some nice lettuce, or even an iceberg wedge with bacon, would give you hope for summer!
The only time the Accidental Locavore has been truly crazy about anchovies was years ago at Chez Panisse. Other than that, I use them for cooking and make sure there are not big, stinky, pieces floating around. So I was curious and a little leery when this recipe for tomatoes with anchovy vinaigrette started popping up. Why would anyone want to ruin a good tomato (especially when the season is so short)? But even salad caprese has its limitations so I gave it a shot. This was originally from Food & Wine and serves 4. Use good quality olive oil and vinegar here.
- 1 medium shallot, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 anchovies, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes—large ones sliced, small ones halved
- 1 teaspoon Maldon Salt, or more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- About 8 basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade), for serving
In a small bowl, toss the shallot with the vinegar and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
Arrange the tomatoes on 4 plates, or in a large serving bowl. Scatter the shallot and vinegar over the tomatoes.
In a small skillet, over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil, anchovies, garlic and lemon zest.
Warm the dressing to a gentle simmer; stir, mashing the anchovies slightly and let simmer 2 minutes. Pour over the tomatoes and toss gently to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Scatter the basil over the salad, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: I’ve made this twice in a week, so you can tell it was well received! The first time, the anchovies were a little too assertive for my taste, so the next go-round, I cooked them a little longer, letting them “melt” into the oil. If you’re an anchovy fan, mince them in bigger pieces and just let the oil warm. What made this a great dish was the crunch of shallots in contrast to the ripe tomatoes, with the lemon zest adding a bright note. Add in a few great tomatoes and this is a fabulous salad!
My friend Denise gave the Accidental Locavore a mess of snow peas last week (along with a ton of stuff from her garden) and since it was the only thing we hadn’t gotten around to eating, I decided to make an easy salad with the peas and brought it to her house for dinner the other night. This generously served 4 and came together in about 20 minutes.
- 1 pound snow peas, washed and trimmed
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons good olive oil
- Maldon salt to taste
- ¼ cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely sliced
In a microwave safe container, steam the snow peas with a tablespoon or two of water, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Shock to stop cooking by rinsing in cold water and ice. Drain and pat dry. Cut in half the long way and put in a medium bowl.
While the peas are cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, until just fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pine nuts, feta and salt to the peas. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle on the mint, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: A good, easy salad to play around with. I tried using goat cheese instead of the feta and it was ok, but a little less assertive than the feta. Basil might easily take the place of mint, or even try substituting lime juice and cilantro for the lemon juice and mint. Green beans, especially haricots vert, would mix well with or replace the snow peas. Let me know what you think.