My family includes vegetarians, meat eaters, vegans, picky and peculiar, and no sugar/no flour. When we all get together for a dinner - the prep can be....challenging. If you read this blog, you know I like challenging. I get a kick out of recipe developing around certain ingredients, diet restrictions or cultures. During one of our recent gatherings I really needed to expand the menu a little with something fresh, raw, crunchy, without sugar or flour, but still full of flavor.
I grabbed a couple veggies and started playing. I peeled the carrots, but left the vitamin filled peelings on the cucumbers. I warmed up the raw crispiness with just a slight toast to a handful of pine nuts. I added a little heat with some cracked pepper. I added a little tang with a White Wine Tarragon Vinaigrette. The natural sweet would be in the Farmer's Market straight out of the soil Carrots and Cucumbers.
For the meat eaters, this was a great palate cleanser. The vegetarian, vegans, and no sugar/no flour folks were thrilled with a healthy plate of "yeah, I get you" food. And, I think the colors even drew in the "picky peculiars" because I saw a few ribbons being slurped up by them, too.This is a quick way to splash up your beige foods and add a little crunch to your crowd.
Recipe: Carrot & Cucumber Ribbon Salad
2 carrots (cleaned and peeled)
2 cucumbers (cleaned)
1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
dash of kosher salt
pinch of fresh cracked pepper
1) Using a Peeler, slice ribbons from the carrots and cucumbers into a colander.
2) Sprinkle a dash of salt over the ribbons, toss and let drain for a few minutes.
3) When ready to serve: toss the ribbons with a drizzle of the vinaigrette and lift them out into a platter. Top with toasted pine nuts and cracked pepper. Can be served room temp or chilled first.
Recipe: White Wine Tarragon Vinaigrette
2 glugs of white wine vinegar (about 1/8 cup)
1 tsp minced shallots or white onion
1 tsp (or more if you desire) fresh chopped (or dried) Tarragon leaves
6 glugs of Olive Oil (about 3/4 cup)
1) In a bowl, add the white wine vinegar, minced shallot, tarragon, salt and pepper. Whisk together.
2) Slowly drizzle the Olive Oil into the bowl, whisking continuously until a nice thick vinaigrette is achieved. Chill.