I have a hot vegetable for this meal, but Chris will not eat the yams, because of his ketogenic diet. Leafy greens and turnips are within his diet, so I am making a quick salad. I will serve the dressing on the side and he can take as much or little of it as he wishes (it will have a bit of sugar, which is also not on his diet).
Note: Again, the point here is to do as much of the dinner prep as possible, before we go out for 5 hours to see part 2 of the Hobbit.
Karl’s Mesclun Salad with Red Raspberry Balsamic Dressing
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 ½ Tbs. Red Raspberry balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, cracked open
¼ tsp. fresh thyme
Pinch dry mustard
Pinch black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
1 sweet red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 Japanese turnips, quartered and sliced
½ cup tiny baby carrots
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups mesclun
1. Put the dressing ingredients into a small jar and shake well. Let the dressing sit for 30 minutes, shaking occasionally.
Tip: In this case I will be letting it meld for 5 hours. It can only get better.
Note: How much you crush your garlic for the dressing is a matter of personal taste. For the mildest of garlic flavors, cut the garlic and rub it on the inside of the jar and then discard the clove. For a moderate level of garlic, press the clove until it just cracks open but is still in one piece. For the strongest flavor of garlic, crush the garlic to a paste.
2. Coarsely chop the vegetables and put them in a small bowl.
Tip: Baby carrots come in two sizes. Usually, you will find them half an inch thick and 1 to 1 ½ inches long. Slice these into planks. Lucky supermarkets sometimes carry “petite” baby carrots, a ¼ inch thick. These you can just toss whole into the salad.
3. Cover the vegetables with cool water and add the vinegar and salt.
Tip: Over 5 hours this should lightly pickle the vegetables. You may add cucumbers to the mix, if you wish, but I am choosing not to add them.
4. Just before dinner, rinse and dry mesclun and add it to a salad bowl.
5. Drain the vegetables. Rinse off the excess salt and add them to the bowl
6. Toss the salad and serve the dressing on the side or sprinkle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the ingredients with the dressing.