Tuesday, January 19, 2010

homemade...winter salads

My body has been really craving greens and other fresh vegetables lately.  These are just not available locally this time of year.  Last week I drove 45 miles to a grower's market that I have never been to before, and low and behold a grower had mache.  I couldn't believe my eyes...fresh local greens.  I felt slightly stingy grabbing up two small bags, knowing they were like gold this time of year in central pennsylvania.  But I am so glad that I did.  Here are a couple of winter salads that I created to use some of the cultured veggies I told you about here.

Mache salad with cultured carrots
1 bunch mache or other green like spinach
1 handful of bean sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil (first cold pressed from italy or greece)
4 tablespoons cultured carrots (or shredded carrots with a splash of apple cider vinegar)
12 kalamata olives
1.  Pull the mache apart into individual leaves and place into separate bowls.
2.  Place a bit of the bean sprouts on top of the mache
3.  Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over the greens and sprouts
4.  Place a tablespoon of the cultured carrots on top of the greens
5.  Add 3 olives to the top of the pile of carrots

This was a salad I made up to disguise cultured carrots so that Jude would eat them.  The lemon, olive oil combine with the carrots to be very cleansing for the liver....so don't skimp on the olive oil!  This may be a little tart to most palates so you may want to mix it up as is and add honey or agave nectar to individual tastes, but it will all depend on how sweet your carrots are.  I like it as is without the cranberries, but they make a very colorful presentation and they are a favorite of Jude's.

Cultured Carrot-Apple-Cranberry Salad
3-4 grated carrots
1 grated granny smith apple
1 grated piece of 1" square ginger 
2 tablespoons of cultured carrots (or 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 handful of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
honey or agave nectar to taste

1.  Mix together grated apple, carrot, ginger.
2.  Add in the cultured carrots, cranberries, nuts, and parsley
3.  Stir in olive oil and lemon juice
4.  Add honey or agave nectar to taste

Our one small change project is going pretty well...this is the batch of veggies I have going right now...celeriac, black radish with a bit of beet juice, beets...cultured beets are really tasty.

And finally to reveal what was in that brown paper bag....

kombucha starter!

I am just starting my first batch today so I'll have to report on this later, but I am quite excited since I bought my scoby in november, and I love kombucha.  Some times even small changes require a certain alignment and motivation.  

***I'm using a new post editor with blogger, and I can't seem to get the spacing right....it looks really bad on my computer...how does it look on yours?  I just reread the last sentence in my post...and let's just say it made me laugh.***

To follow up a bit... The kombucha is fermented tea. The scoby is used to ferment the tea and in the process creates a really yummy drink that is slightly carbonated. It is said to have really great health benefits and has been consumed for hundreds of years. As for the cultured vegetables, you have to use common sense here. If you are not comfortable with eating them, you shouldn't eat them. If the veggies are spoiled and not fermented they will smell bad and the color will be dull in color. The salt inhibits bad bacteria and allows the good bacteria to grow. Once the good bacteria grow they keep the pathogenic stuff from growing. But I am not an expert and I suggest that anyone who is interested in making their own cultured vegetables use some of the resources that I linked to in the orginal post and read some more before they dive in...although this is really not complicated at all and people have been fermenting vegetables for centuries.


  1. Let me know how the kombucha works out. We would love to make our own, but a few friends who have tried told me they could never get it to taste like the bottled kind they liked. The salads look delicious!

  2. Oh yum! I've been craving greens too. How lovely that you found fresh, local greens! (BTW, I'm having spacing issues too.)

  3. Yummy...I started some fermented carrots, turnips and cabbage, but I'm a little nervous about it growing botulism instead of lactic bacteria...tell us more about kombucha.

  4. Kombucha is the best and super easy! In a a week or so, you will literally be able to peel layers off and give them to everyone you know!

    I little while ago I switched to the new editor on blogger and the alignment looked so bad that I just switched back to the old one, but I'm thinking yours looks fine from here.

    Now you have me wanting a salad. I LOVE kalmata olives...any really.


  5. i love kombucha and tried making it myself but my recipe made such huge batches that i got nervous and stopped! good luck with yours and post a recipe for your small batch when you get a chance - please!!!

  6. i made my own kombucha last year, for a month maybe. it got moldy after that though. and i never bothered to learn why. but i loved drinking it while i had it. i'm also getting really curious about your cultured vegetables. which is your favorite, like if i start with one??

  7. This all looks amazing! So glad the One Small Change is going well! I also tried to make my own kombucha, but failed at it...I will try again though because I really miss it!

  8. I love kombucha, but haven't tried brewing my own. A friend of ours moderates a facebook group about it, and I am certain that he would be happy to help anyone trouble shoot. Let me know and I can put you in touch with him; he is the house brew master for his family. They all take it daily, including their three girls, 2, 4, and 7. You'll have to let me know how it goes.

    I'm with Heather, what veggie should we try first? I've been wanting to try it, but just haven't gotten around to it...

  9. This whole post made me feel healthier, just by reading it. Thank you for sharing these great recipes with us. I am really interested in starting Kombucha, and I think that after reading this post, I feel like I can give it a try.
    Have a beautiful day Elizabeth

  10. Your salad looks incredible!
    My husband and I are Kombucha drinkers as well!

  11. All these things look so good. I love the combo of green apples and carrots. I can't wait to try that.

    And everything looks great, even the text.


  12. OOOHH, I'm with ya. Up here in upstate ny things aren't any better-- and all the growers' markets are closed for the season, at least as far as I know. That mache looks like a delicious find. I like to make sprouts in the wintertime, to fill my crunchy vegetable requirement.

    Sweetfern Handmade

  13. I feel the same about lettuce in winter, I crave for it. I have my own lettuce only in spring time, but gortunately, we can get mache all year round here. I never heard of kombucha, is it something you little one drinks too?

  14. Hey Elizabeth,
    Linda and I made up a few batches of kombucha a few years back. It turned out great. Linda experimented with different recipies, and fermentation time. It always tasted great with healthy benefits. I always thought kombucha was a mushroom, but I guess its not. Anyway, enjoy,
    Bill and Linda ( We love your blog)


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