I love to cook. I don’t mean like, or even really like, I mean cookbook obsessed, recipe-scribbling, culinary gadget-addict, cannot wait to get into the kitchen to spend hours preparing multi-course feasts pure unadulterated love. Yes, it is a huge part of my life. And I choose to work with organic, all-natural, wholesome ingredients that produce pure and nutritious dishes. Food must be good, not only in regard to taste, but good for your health and the environment!
So where to begin? In my opinion, the best inspiration for any meal is a farmer’s market. A Sunday-afternoon regular for years, I still marvel at the bounty of fresh, local, and seasonal offerings, especially this time of year. The variety of colors, shapes, and scents are enough to make anyone want to hit the kitchen, or at least munch as they wander the stalls!
Summer is the best season to highlight the beauty of these ingredients with simple, rustic preparations. Here’s one of my favorite creations that lets the raw vegetables shine. It is the perfect crisp and refreshing appetizer (that will please vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free folks too), fun salad alternative, or light afternoon snack! Little gem leaves (a small variety of romaine lettuce) act as an ideal edible container for this fresh take on a classic slaw. And talk about easy… it has only five ingredients, all of which you can buy fresh from the farmers market. These vegetables are based on my seasonal offerings in Northern California, but feel free to mix and match with whatever you find from local growers (or from your own garden!).
Recipe for Farm Fresh Salad “Shooters” (makes about twenty)
1 small head of red or green cabbage, whichever you prefer (or both!)
1 red onion
4-6 red radishes, depending on size
3 heads of little gem lettuce
Dressing 4 T rice wine vinegar 1 T lemon juice ¾ t oil 1 T honey A pinch of salt and pepper (white pepper jazzes it up!)
- Shred or slice all vegetables into thin strands. Toss into one bowl and mix.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together. Season to taste.
- Pour dressing over vegetables and toss lightly until coated as desired.
- Separate individual leaves of little gems and place firm large leaves on platter to fill.
- Take small handfuls (or use tongs if you would like) of the slaw and fill leaves.
- Eat up!