Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Dream of Island Ranch Coleslaw

I dove my spoon into the shredded cabbage and kohlrabi. I was feeling clever, having just created a rendition of one of my favorite salads in town, a coconut lime coleslaw. The version I made is tropical, but with a hint of garden. I think it is best described as an island ranch dressing. I poured the creamy dressing into the spicy-sweet slaw. It folded over itself in beautiful ribbons, then sank into the porous shreds, glazing the carrots with darkness the way water changes sand. Just then, tiny whiskers interrupted my musings, and a nose poked into view. My eyes followed the little white nose up to triangular grey ears, then back to look straight into the most intensely curious eyes I have ever seen. I cocked my head to match his, and held my gaze as he looked from me to the salad and back again. He seemed so happy to be sitting there watching, that I considered going back to my cooking and leaving him on the counter.

Then I noticed the paw. It was poised and ready to dive. It looked like a snake about to strike. I blinked my eyes wider, and zoomed in on the tan burnt auburn stains on the white fur. My eyes walked further, uncovering a track of brown splatter which led to a drip stained mug whose rim was now tracing the counter. I looked back at Eugene. His eyes bulged guiltily. Clearly he had helped himself to some coffee, and now he was planning to help himself to some salad. I dove for my water gun while shouting "NOOOOOO". He turned his head. The snake paw drooled brown. I shook the gun, sloshing the water ominously. He flinched and ducked. He left me no choice. I fired.

Eugene sat on the floor, licking the water off of his legs. He frowned at me, put up his tail, and pranced away. I continued scraping the bowl with my spatula. Since the first time I read Alice Waters "Fanny at Chez Panisse" I have fantasized about having a child who would sit with me while I am cooking, and to whom I could pass along all of my kitchen secretes. I would set the child on the table in a large salad bowl, and spin the bowl from time to time to keep them pacified. I suppose I should have been more specific in my dreaming and imagined that the child be human and not so naughty as to stick their paws into the salad.

Coconut lime dressing
2 heaping TBSP coconut cream (open a can of coconut milk and just scoop out the creamy part)
juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
lots of fresh ground pepper
pinch salt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon-thyme (I have a plant of it that I got from the farmers market)

Kohlrabi slaw
in a food processor, shred 2 medium peeled kohlrabi and 6 peeled carrots. Add 2 diced garlic scapes and 3 green onions (with a tiny bulb on the end). Dress with coconut lime dressing.

Christina's vote: "I could taste melodies in this salad"

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