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Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter harvest salad...

Ok, it may not look like a winter salad, but here in Arizona, this is what we harvest! I realize that most of the country is going through record cold-snap temperatures right now, but here in Arizona, we had a 74-degree day! And while a coleslaw inspired dish is not what you might think of as a January dinner, the bounty of my farmshare this week offered up some really wonderful winter items to work with. Cabbage, cilantro, and radish.
I used my ranch dressing recipe (previous post) for the dressing on this...and added shrimp simmered in a delicious liquid.  Here is the recipe:

Makes 4 dinner sized salads, or one big slaw to go to a potluck!
1/2 head of cabbage
1 cup fresh cilantro
5-8 radishes
1 cup creamy dressing (use what you like or have)
1 lb. shrimp (raw)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbs agave nectar (or honey)
1/4 tsp hot chile paste (sambal, or other)

Shred the cabbage to your liking, big or small. Then slice the radishes very thin. Tear the cilantro into pieces. Toss these three ingredients with the creamy dressing. Divide this between 4 serving bowls.
In a bowl mix the vinegar, agave nectar, and chile paste (if you prefer no heat, you can use garlic). Wisk to combine.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp. olive oil. Add the raw shrimp, and pour in the vinegar liquid. Simmer the shrimps in the liquid until pink but still tender, just a few brief minutes.
Layer the shrimps on top of the salads. Then pour the sweet and tangy shrimp liquid over the top of the salads too as an added dressing (it has lots of flavor).

Tip on the cabbage: if you do not love raw cabbage flavor or texture, pour boiling water over top of the shredded cabbage in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then drain and use in the recipe. This blanches it and takes just the edge off and really changes its flavor and its natural sweetness really comes through, enough to make it more enjoyable to eat.

By the time you get to the end of your salad there is a lucious creamy 'soup' at the bottom created by the dressings. Don't pass this up!...grab a spoon for that part.

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