Day 17 - a whirlwind of a day. Last full day of school. Last morning fermenting class. (Thanks ladies who made me laugh this morning! Such a hoot.) Also, a presentation on the benefits of fermented foods tonight (thanks to those who attended!). This was a day I needed something quick and easy. And this salad is just that, with the added bonus of being zingy and crunchy!
In some homes, Tuesday is Taco night. Sometimes it's that way around here. I took the cue this afternoon from the resounding echoes of "Taco Tuesday!" from friends, and planned a quick version. I heated up my cast iron pan, added some bacon fat and a diced onion, threw in some diced leftover Caribbean pork leg roast from last night, a few ice cubes of chicken meat stock I keep for just such purposes, and the last dregs of the homemade salsa which had been languishing on the top fridge shelf for seemingly months. I added some chili powder, oregano, cumin and coriander, and voila, a quick meat item to add to the Tacos. Alternately, you could do this with ground meat of your choice, or whatever version of protein be it delicious beans or what have you. I know you, you'll play with your food and come up with something good.
I took the cues from my herbs out back in my garden. The heat is about to crank here in Southern Alberta; I fear the bolt coming on from the herbs. Clipping them regularly keeps them in check, hopefully keeps them from getting bitter. I chopped some parsley and cilantro to add flavour to my slaw, which was eventually going to adorn the tacos. I also diced up my most favourite herb, my lovage. Have you tried growing lovage before? It's a most wonderful perennial herb, that gives you a full 5 foot high shrub every year, thrives in poorer soil (means less pampering from moi, thank goodness) and can do either full sun or part shade. And is beneficial food to some happy non-people-stinging wasps. I highly recommend you add this to your garden; it imparts a flavour similar to parsley-meets-celery, with a brightness that livens it all up. Know that the flavour doesn't dissipate with cooking or marinating, so chop teeny tiny and use sparingly. It's my favourite thing in a homemade BBQ sauce. I'm just saying. (If you don't have access to lovage, as it's hard to find in stores, you could use celery leaves instead.)
Herbs aside, I pulled out my cheapo worn-out mandoline slicer for the task at hand. I shredded all of these goodies:
2 carrots, peeled
small wedge of cabbage (I used purple for anthocyanin love and colour)
full Granny Smith green tart apple, cored (remember to take off the sticker first. I forgot.)
quarter of a fennel bulb
Toss together, along with dressing-like flavours:
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp good quality olive oil
afore-mentioned chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, lovage)
With my mandoline slicer, it took all of 10 minutes to assemble this salad. I let it marinate while I prepped the meat and heated up some organic corn tortillas in the oven, courtesy of local lovelies Tres Marias, and washed lettuce leaves for me as I am low-grains these days. I made a quick guacamole (an avocado, a garlic clove, some salt, dash of lime juice, hit of cumin and coriander seed, some fresh coriander, whizzed in processor) and put that out, along with some creme fraiche and shredded cheese. Oh yes, and my fermented hot sauce. And of course, some Brussels Sprout Kimchi. I'm not trying to show off; I'm just trying to alleviate the pressure on the top shelf of my fridge.
Dinner was done. We ate, visited with our sweet neighbours, and then went off to our separate things afterwards. Gawd I'm glad for family suppers. And grateful for my family.