Thursday, June 18, 2009

Low or no-heat cooking.

It's not even summer yet, and it's freaking hot. The last thing that I feel like doing is slaving over a stove. So, I like to dream up ways to have well-rounded meals that involve minimal or no heat. Salt and acids are your best friend when it comes no-heat "cooking." Both help veggies -- like kale for example -- break down to something a bit more edible. Munching on a raw kale leaf just doesn't sound great, but massage it with some salt, sesame oil and rice vinegar, and you have a great, refreshing summer salad or side. Here is a picture of some lovely kale that came from Green Hill Urban Farm, as well as some radishes which will form a great salad.

The radishes are optional for this dish. They came in my Green Hill CSA box with the kale, so I thought I'd just throw it all in there. (want to learn more about Green Hill and how to get enrolled in their CSA program? Visit this link:

So, to make marinated kale ribbons, here's what you need:

1 bunch kale, stems stripped away

2 T tamari/soy sauce

1/4 cup seasoned (sweet) rice wine vinegar


2 T toasted sesame oil

Now, here's where I tell you that you need to go out and buy yourself a cool toy. You deserve it. Head out to your local kitchen supply and grab yourself a mandolin slicer, pictured below with a radish that it perfectly julienned in seconds flat. Watch your fingers, please.

Stack your kale leaves on top of each other and roll into a cigar like so:

Then slice into ribbons like so:

Put your kale ribbons and julienned radishes into the bowl. Next, add all of your liquids.

Throw in a pinch or two of salt, get your hands down in that bowl and massage away. The salt will pull a lot of liquid out of your veggies. Let it all marinate for a while, at least 10-15 minutes, then pull the kale out of the dressing and serve. This dish keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. In my opinion, it's best the next day. As always, if you feel like you want more vinegar or tamari, add away.

Optional additions to your ribbons include fresh ginger and/or garlic, toasted sesame seeds, sliced red get the idea.

Eat your ribbons alone as a refreshing salad or with other items as a side dish. Here is my own low-cook dinner that I had on this hot hot evening:

Flash-seared Copper River salmon with kale ribbons. On top of the fish is some avocado relish (white onion, avocado, tomato, lime juice, salt. Also fresh dill, cilantro and Theros olive oil from Green Hill). In the background is some whole wheat French Bread from Annie's bakery in Sylva with more Theros olive oil infused with garlic, rosemary and thyme from my own garden. The fish only took a minute to cook, everything else was no-cook. Very healthy stuff and my house is much cooler (if you consider 79 degrees to be cool).

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