Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vibrant Duet Salad

Dunja showed up at the market one day recently, and within five minutes of her arrival she was helping me wash dishes. We began talking instantly as though we had known each other for years. It was while we were washing dishes that I discovered that Dunja is a friend of one of my original culinary heroes. I also discovered that she practices a cooking style similar to some of my college friends, and one which I don't commonly encounter in the midwest. Perhaps this is partially why our conversation flowed so easily, and our friendship seemed effortless.

Dunja is from Croatia, and though she has only been here for two weeks, she knows more about what is happening in the Twin Cities than I do. I therefore didn't feel too guilty about it when, after offering to show her around Saint Paul, I then took her instead to our apartment and suggested that we do some cooking.

I emptied out all of the vegetables from our refrigerator, and lay them gingerly on the counter. Then I handed Dunja a knife and a cutting board, and took one of each for myself. It was exciting to work side by side with a chef that I admire and respect, and I couldn't wait to see what she would come up with given the choice of ingredients. Christina rushed to grab the video camera, and filmed as we steadily and methodically chopped and seasoned our way through the piles of vegetables in front of us. Then we sat down and enjoyed a nice meal together. Here is what was created.

Emily's Cabbage Radish Slaw
1/4 shredded red cabbage
2 small kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
8 radishes, shredded
1/2 Tbsp ume plum vinegar
2 tsp dark honey
1/2 tbsp brown rice syrup
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup ground cherries

Dunja's Arugula Salad with Roasted Garlic Tomato Croutons
1/2 cup baby tomatoes
2 cups arugula
1 small sliced raw zucchini
1/2 clove garlic
1 spring onion, diced
1/2 cup basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp ume plum vinegar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp capers
Toss salad together and garnish with:
2 slices toasted sprouted grain bread spread with roasted garlic tomato sauce

Christina's vote: "This salad was wow, wow!"

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