I yanked the last of the tomato plants out of the cold soil this past weekend, re-potted some herbs in small vessels to bring inside (where they will live for a few weeks in their healthy green state then begin the long slow wither to March when they'll eventually gasp and disintegrate having done the best they could to get me through winter).
So goodbye tomato and basil salads and hello tough little winter vegetables; carrots, cabbage, fennel, parsnips, beets, etc. Hardy produce that make a nice sala...er, slaw that's nutritious, crunchy and bright. I dressed it with this creamy Yogurt Dressing but lemon juice and olive oil is good too. If you throw in some chicken, nuts or lentils, you've got lunch.
This is the first time I've tried raw beets and they are terrific, surprisingly sweet. This is also true of raw parsnips and brussel sprouts and while I don't like cooked brussel sprouts (yeah, yeah even with bacon, balsamic glaze, miso, whatever—I just don't enjoy them. I hope we can still be friends), I like them raw.
A mandoline or thin blade on a food processor is the way to go to prepare a slaw like this but a vegetable peeler also does wonders. I shaved the carrots using one and was pleased with the delicate long ribbons. I've also used a serrated knife and like it because it firmly grips the food, even on a narrow slice.
Since this is raw, it's nice to use the best of the best so if you can find organic versions, it's worth it. My carrots came from Featherstone Farms, a local CSA. I signed up for one of their winter farm shares this year to force myself to cook with the season a bit more. Rutabagas, anyone? I'm a little afraid.
This is just a list of ideas. The components and quantity are up to you (though I find onion a little strong for this). When I say "thin" I mean as thin as you can get them before they fall apart.
Carrots, parsnips—peel skin and then into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler
Beets—peel skin and slice into thin rounds with mandoline
Fennel bulb, brussel sprouts— slice off brown root end and slice into thin rounds with mandoline.
Cabbage—quarter and slice thin with mandoline
Ideas for dressing: