Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Warm Root Vegetable Slaw with Maple-Cream Dressing

If there’s anything good about autumn and winter, it’s root vegetables. And when I think root vegetables, I usually think roasting—bringing out that rich, earthy, caramelized flavor of just about any root you roast.

But for this recipe, I was thinking a little more on the raw side. But not completely raw—just a quick sauté of matchstick-sized veggies to draw out their natural flavors while leaving a bit of crunch.

Here, I used carrot, parsnip, turnip, radish, and celery root (or celeriac), tossing them with a few toasted pecans for extra crunch. The slaw is finished with a sweet, creamy maple dressing made with only three ingredients (plus seasoning): maple syrup, sour cream, and a bit of shallot.

The amount of dressing may seem scant, but the vegetables should be simply “kissed” with it, not smothered.

Note: The key to quick-searing the vegetables is thin, evenly cut pieces. That means “julienned,” or about the size of large matchsticks. For round vegetables (like turnips and celery root), peel the outer layer then cut off thin slices of the rounded edges to create a flat, boxy surface. Now you're ready to julienne.

Peeled Celery Root with Flat Edges 
Sliced Celery Root

Turnip and Radish Ready to Slice
Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp finely chopped shallot
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup toasted, broken pecans
Root Vegetables 
Julienned Root Vegetables
  1. Combine the maple syrup, sour cream, and shallot in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Dressing Ingredients Ready to Combine
Maple-Cream Dressing
  1. Heat a heavy, preferably cast-iron, skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add all vegetables and season generously with salt and pepper.
Vegetables Beginning to Cook
  1. Sauté until lightly browned and crisp-tender, 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans. Drizzle the dressing over the slaw and stir lightly to combine.
Transfer to a serving bowl spoon alongside a main course.

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