Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Raw day! Ginger Lingui-veggie Salad

Lately, I have been into veggies cut in linguini-like shapes. It makes for a beautiful, original presentation, and it is pleasant to eat.
Basically, you chose a long vegetable (carrot, cucumber, zucchini) and, armed with a peeler, you shave it horizontally until you are left with a pile of long, and soft-but-crunchy bits. You can also use leafy greens: just cut long strips in the leaves (flatten the leaves on the cutting board, take the hard stem out, and run your knife through the green part.).
This salad is a result of this current shape obsession.

For better results, let it marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator. I usually let it sit for a whole night. The veggies soak and taste delicious, and they don't get soggy, but remain good and crunchy.

1 cucumber and 1 tsp of salt
A bunch of leafy greens (chards)
2 long carrots
1 cup of mixed nuts and dried fruits/berries*
4 shiitake mushrooms
mixed sesame seeds

1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp miso
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar
½ tsp agave nectar
2-3 drops of hot sauce

With a peeler, shave the cucumber lengthwise to make long, soft strips. Put in colander and mix with 1 tsp of salt. After at least 30 minutes, rinse the salt with cold water and press to eliminate all water.
Shave the carrots just like the cucumber and cut the chard leaves into long strips. Take the stem out of the shiitakes and cut them into strips. Add cucumbers, nuts, dried fruits, and sesame seeds. Mix.
Liquify miso paste into a tbsp of water. Mix all the liquids in a bowl. Grate the ginger and add to the sauce. Mix well and pour over salad. Mix well, and let it marinate for at least an hour.

Put it on a plate and sprinkle it with a blend of sesame seeds.
I accompanied it with a zucchini carpaccio (slices of raw zucchini marinated in a balsamic-garlic-olive oil dressing) and slices of heirloom tomatoes and avocado (sprinkled with the same balsamic dressing).**

It was delicious, my guest was really excited about all the nuts and the dried raisins and berries saturated with the gingery dressing.
Popularity points: +4.
Karma points: +4.5 *** All of this was organic, I biked to the store, I didn't use energy for cooking, and most of the ingredients were local (it's easier for foodies to have good green karma in California!), but some stuff came from far away like the hunza goji berries, and probably the almonds (since you can no longer sell unpasteurized almonds in California, these raw nuts had to be imported from somewhere else), the Mirin, I guess... But it's a pretty good score!

*make your own mix according to your tastes. I chose a ready-made raw trail mix sold in bulk at Rainbow Grocery. If you want to make it a raw salad, make sure your nuts are not roasted.
** The salad was Asian-inspired and the sides were Italian. It's pretty but next time i'll make sure I have a coherent theme and include something more in tune, like green papaya strips with peanut sauce...
*** Karma points go from -5 (negative karma, you'll burn in hell, get reincarnated into a battery chicken or get dumped really bad) to +5 (total holiness!).

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