Had the best simple salad just like this while visiting my old hometown, Cincinnati, last week. It tasted as if the greens were just picked from the farm and the raw vegetables were sliced impossibly thin. In case you didn’t know, the Ohio Valley is home to a most excellent foodshed and the chefs in this town really know how to take advantage of the bounty of the summer season.
This salad idea came from a fabulous meal I had at Salazar in Over the Rhine (OTR). The food scene in the OTR neighborhood has exploded over the last few years. Every time I visit, there is some new cool hip trendy spot to hit. This year, one of the places to see and be seen at is definitely Salazar.
My dear friend Kristin and I sat at the bar, which was great fun. There was lots of activity to watch as the mixologists did their magic creating inventive craft cocktails. We also had a bird’s eye view of the kitchen which was a constant source of entertainment as plate after plate of amazing looking food whizzed by us.
To recreate this super delicious salad, I knew I would need my Benriner slicer (a mandoline will do the trick, too). The key is to slice the vegetables as thinly as possible. I used radishes, two kinds of beets, fennel, bulb onions and cucumbers.
I’ve been wanting to make my own homemade ginger dressing. It’s one of my favorites. I usually just buy Makoto Ginger Dressing, which is pretty great, but it’s way more fun to make my own. I grated the ginger with a microplane and added oil, vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. Very simple stuff.
I’m not always into tossing a salad, but this one calls for it. First, I put a few tablespoonfuls of dressing in the bottom of a large wooden salad bowl. Then I added the greens and shaved vegetables. Tossed and seasoned the whole thing with this amazing bourbon smoked salt and pepper that I picked up at my all time favorite store in the whole wide world, Park + Vine. (Regular sea salt and freshly ground pepper will do, too.) Oh yeah, there is avocado in this too. Perfect combination of textures and flavors for any summer meal.
Shaved Vegetable Salad + Ginger Dressing
1/2lb spring mix salad greens
1 yellow beet
1 chioggia or red beet
1 fennel bulb
1-2 bulb spring onions
1 avocado, diced
Ginger dressing (recipe follows)
Sea salt and pepper
Trim and shave vegetables using a Benriner slicer or mandoline. Make ginger dressing. Add a few tablespoonfuls of dressing to the bottom of a large bowl. Add greens, shaved vegetables and avocado to the bowl. Toss to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper.
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp organic brown sugar or coconut sugar
Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Shake vigorously to combine.