Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bagna Cauda Salad

Raw beets? Raw turnips? Raw radishes? In a salad with anchovies? I wasn't sold but the picture looked so pretty I decided to try it anyway, mostly because I had so many turnips in my fridge.

Turns out, Curtis and I both love it. I've made this twice now. I've rotated some different winter veggies in to the dish as they show up in my CSA box (and then crisper). If you have it on hand, you can also use 1/4 small butternut squash (seed and peel it--the send end is preferable) and 8 trimmed brussels sprouts. Thinly slice the squash and pull all the leaves off the brussels sprouts.

This recipe calls for a lot of thin slicing. If you are not adept with a knife to cut the vegetables paper thin, use a mandoline. Just watch your knuckles---slicing your thumb knuckle on a mandoline because your kids have lost the protective guide. I'm not talking from experience or anything. :) Almost all your prep time is spent cutting and slicing the vegetables. The rest goes quite quickly.

Just a note on the beets. If you don't care if your turnips and cabbage turn pinkish, you can stir in the beets as enthusiastically as you desire. However, if you want your whites white, stir a little dressing into the beets before you add them to the salad. Toss the salad very gently just to incorporate the beets.

Bagna Cauda Salad
adapted from Amanda Hesser's recipe on Food52.com

2 small carrots, trimmed (peeled if store bought, not necessary if just picked)
2 radishes, trimmed
2 small turnips (or 4 very small turnips), trimmed and peeled
2 small beets (or 4 very small beets), trimmed and peeled
2 - 3 leaves of cabbage, sliced thinly
1/4 c parsley, chopped
4 anchovy fillets
2 small (1 medium) garlic clove
2 T lemon juice
5 T good extra virgin olive oil

Prep the veggies: The radishes, turnips, and beets should be sliced as thinly as possible using a mandoline or your wicked knife skills. These veggies should be translucent. Put the radishes and turnips in a small to medium sized serving bowl. Set the beets aside in a small mixing bowl. Cut the carrots into 3" long matchsticks (each matchstick about 1/8" thick or so). Add the carrots, cabbage and parsley to the radishes and turnips in the serving bowl. Mix with your hands to combine vegetables.

The dressing: You have several options. If you have a good mortar and pestle, that is sufficient. I don't. You could also use a mini food processor or blender. I don't have those either. Using a knife (or one of the other methods which involves the equipment I don't have), finely mince the anchovies and garlic. Combine to make with the salt to make a paste. Place in a small glass jar, add the lemon juice and olive oil, and shake vigorously. Season with salt and adjust the amount of lemon juice and oil as needed.

To create salad: Pour half of the dressing over the vegetables (not the beets yet) and blend with your hands, separating the vegetables as necessary. Mix very well. Taste and add more dressing if you would like. Once seasonings are how you like, very, very gently mix in the beets. Let rest for 15 minutes or so before serving.

No comments: