Is it difficult for you to make a great salad part of your daily diet? Want to make it easier? If so, take the time to prepare a variety of cultured and marinated vegetables ahead. All you will have to do then to make an excellent salad is to prepare a bed of lettuce and/or other leafy greens. Toss the greens with some good quality extra-virgin olive oil and top with whatever combination of prepared veggies you have in the fridge. Marinated veggies will keep in the fridge for at least a week and cultured veggies for a month or more, so it’s well worth it.
The carrot recipe below was inspired by Sally Fallon’s “ginger carrots” in Nourishing Traditions. I changed it mainly with the addition of lemon juice. I’ve made it without the ginger and instead used fresh chives and it was equally good. And don’t forget the cultured cabbage (sauerkraut)–I always have some red cabbage sauerkraut in the fridge (see the recipe here). I’ve also posted a zucchini relish that is cultured. Remember that the cultured veggies are usually salty so that you likely won’t need to add salt to your salad.
I am including a few other ideas below in the way of marinated vegetables. Marinating is quicker (fermenting takes a few days) because it does not involve fermentation by lactic acid-producing microorganisms. I like having the red onions and the daikon radish available. Be sure to spoon some of the vinegar onto your salad with the veggies–the flavor is a nice variation. Don’t forget to keep olives in stock too as they are another great addition to this type of salad. Check out the marinated cauliflower recipe I posted previously.
4 cups packed of grated organic carrots
1 Tbsp. sea salt
juice of 1 organic lemon
1-2 Tbsp. finely grated ginger root or 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Scrub the carrots very well– no need to peel them–and grate them into a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix well. If you really like ginger, use 2 Tbsp. instead of 1 Tbsp. Pack this mixture (with a spoon) into a wide-mouthed, quart-sized mason jar. For a weight, fill an 8- ounce canning jar with water and put its lid on. This small jar should fit into the mouth of a wide-mouthed mason jar. Press the carrots down further by pushing down on the small jar–it will be sticking up out of the larger jar but that is ok. Leave it there and cover the whole thing with cheese cloth held in place around the larger jar’s mouth with a rubber band. Keep on your kitchen countertop out of direct sunlight for 3 days being sure to press down on the small jar every day to keep the carrots under the liquid–taste them each time to see how you like them. You may prefer to ferment them 2 instead of 3 days–after fermentation, cap and keep them refrigerated
Marinated Red Onions
1 large red onion, chopped fine
1/2 to 1 cup organic, raw apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
Mix 1/2 cup of the vinegar with the honey in a mason jar (either a pint or quart-sized). Add the chopped onions and stir well. If the onions are not totally submerged in vinegar once you press then down with a fork, add more vinegar until they are. Cap and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 8 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.
Marinated Daikon Radish
1 medium daikon radish, scrubbed with vegetable brush, peeled if skin is not smooth and white, and then sliced in 1/8 inch rounds
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (the herb flavored varieties are good but plain is fine too)
1 tsp. honey, optional
If you are using honey, dissolve it in the vinegar in a bowl. Add the radish slices and stir well to coat them. Transfer to a pint-sized mason jar, cap, and refrigerate. If convenient, give the jar a shake whenever you open your refrigerator to keep them evenly coated. Ready to serve in 4 hours. Keep refrigerated.