Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Daikon salad

It has really warmed up in Boston, so the idea of turning on an oven, or even the stove has ranged from -234 to about 1. (I am visiting Boston for a bit, and apparently compared to the scorching weather in D.C. I should not be complaining.)

With bbqs slated for the long weekend, I wanted to bring something bright, fresh and requiring zero heat to prepare. I found some fresh daikon in Chinatown and decided on a vinegar-but-not-quite-pickled salad.

The ingredients: daikon radish, jicima (I decided to omit, so just admire it), scallions, kolrabi, carrots, nappa cabbage and a jalapeno

Wash and peel the daikon:

With a hand peeler, or mandolin, very thinly slice the daikon. (I split it in half when the slices got too big for the peeler, so there were rounds and half moon shapes.)
Peel and ribbon the carrot - basically keep peeling the carrot, rotating it around so you get thin slices.

Cut the ribbons into thirds:

Peel the kolrabi - you are going to need a knife for the peeling part because the outside is thick and fibrous, but the inside is AWESOME. It tastes a bit like sweet broccoli, mixed with turnip. After its peeled, you can treat it like the daikon, and thinly slice it with the peeler or mandolin.
Clean the scallions and separate the greens from the whites. Thinly slice the white ends vertically to create long, thin slices. Save the greens for another thing.

Put all the chopped and sliced veggies into a salad spinner and SPIN. Get them as dry as possible.
In a separate bowl, add the sliced jalepenos - as much as you like (this pepper was very mild, so I kept the seeds in). Add in a few tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, a few teaspoons of sugar and a few good pinches of salt. (This is going to vary depending on how many veggies you have, start with 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt, and add more if you need it.)
Once the sugar and salt are disolved in the mix, you can toss in your veggies.
I added a little bit of lime juice to up the tartness. The longer the veggies sit in the mix, the more they will wilt and take on the vinegar flavor. Its great to serve it chilled with hot items off the grill.

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