Picnic-Perfect Lemon-Tahini Slaw

I had two favorite cookbooks out on the kitchen table opened to recipes for coleslaw: The Taste of Summer and Earth To Table Every Day.

Susan saw them and asked what I was looking for. I told here and a few minutes later she came back into the kitchen and gave me a copy of this recipe. I am so happy she did. Delicious!

Quoting from Cooking at The New York Times:

“This vegan recipe fulfills the need for a creamy slaw that can sit out in the sun. Instead of dairy and raw egg yolks, this slaw is slicked with tahini and mustard. Capers, lemon zest and scallions are smashed into a coarse paste, then massaged into the cabbage to lend umami and a salty punch. Snap peas and radishes add crunch, but feel free to swap in celery, jicama, fennel or other vegetables. This is a decidedly savory slaw; if you want some sweetness, add honey to the dressing, to taste. The slaw can sit out — poolside, deskside, at a picnic — for up to 3 hours, and it keeps for 3 days in the fridge.”

Note my changes in bold below.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest plus 5 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (Note: used 1/4 cup of diced red onion.)
  • 1 medium Savoy or other green cabbage (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced (Note: I used red cabbage as that is what was in my fridge.)
  • I large carrot grated (Note: My addition.)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise (Note: I used a cucumber instead.)
  • 3 large or 6 small radishes, cut into matchsticks (Note: I didn’t have any but I did add 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts!)

Preparation

  1. Chop and smash the capers, lemon zest and half the scallions together into a coarse, wet paste. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and the scallion-caper mixture. Massage with your hands until the cabbage is slightly wilted.
  2. Prepare the dressing: In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, the tahini and mustard. Add water until thick but pourable (about 3 tablespoons depending on tahini brand). Season to taste with salt and pepper and another teaspoon of mustard for more kick, if desired.
  3. Add the snap peas, radishes and remaining scallions to the cabbage, then stir in enough dressing to lightly coat. (Leftover dressing will keep for up to a week; thin with water as needed.) Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.

Based on a recipe from Ali Slagel.

Summer Is Over

Tonight is the last night of summer. You can see autumn coming today in the color of the lace hydrangea leaves.

Where did summer go?

I have a record of sorts; a list of the everyday routines.

I wake up when Freddy jumps out of bed. This happens between 5:00 and 5:30. Sometimes, but rarely 6:00 or 4:30. I give him a snack and then we wait for a glimmer of sunlight to appear in the eastern sky so we can safely go for a walk. This morning it was cold. Thirty one degrees. It was still dark and I carried a flashlight.

I had intentions to write every day but my will to write has withered and all I am left with are these lists. However, I do find solace in what G.K. Chesterton said: “The greatest poem is an inventory.”

Thus, I have written the greatest poem. An inventory of my everyday routines.

Here from a few days ago:

September 16
Up at 6:00
A walk with Freddy
Coffee with Susan
Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast
Vacuuming house
Food Shopping at Big Y
Susan working on shutters in garage
Susan picking up things in living room
Susan cleaning the bathroom
Ham Salad Sandwich for me, Salmon salad for Susan
Susan cutting my hair
Hummingbird at zinnias
Wine outside with Susan before dinner
Grilled Petite Sirloin and Broccoli Ramen Salad for Dinner
A walk with Freddy
Seeing a Pileated Woodpecker
Early to bed

These lists of my everyday life are, in fact, my gratitude journal, my 1000 gifts. I am grateful. I am very grateful. I have a smart and loving wife in Susan. Two smart and happy children. Two happy grandchildren. A beautiful home. My gifts, from photography to cooking to finding and sharing beauty.

Susan and I have seen our grandchildren once since early March when we celebrated my birthday. The quarantine has kept us all apart (and I have gained The Quarantine Fifteen. If not, 20!). But we did see them to drop off a present for Matthew’s birthday a few weeks ago, keeping somewhat socially distant and no hugging.

Susan and I have always spent a lot of time together and more so now than ever. We miss our volunteer work at a local elementary school  and going out for dinner every so often. But I believe, if it is even possible, we grow even closer every day. God has certainly blessed us.

Now we are working together to paint our kitchen and re-wallpaper two walls.

(to be continued)

 

 

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

 

 

Watermelon Chaat

Cool salad for a hot summer’s day. So refreshing!

I found this recipe in the New York Times. The reporter writes:

“This recipe for watermelon chaat, a savory fruit salad dressed in toasted cumin and dried mango powder, comes from Malika Ameen, a cookbook author whose Pakistani-American family in Chicago makes infinite variations on fruit chaat in the summer. You could swap out the watermelon for a mix of what’s in season, whether it’s stone fruit, berries or cubed apple and pear. It’s an ideal dish to break the fast during Ramadan, full of flavor and hydrating, and quick to put together.”

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon amchur powder (dried green mango) (I didn’t use this.)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (a generous pinch if you like heat)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 orange, clementine or mandarin, juiced to make approximately 1/3 cup juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 3 to 4 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (I used Chocolate mint.)
  • 1 small cucumber, halved, seeded, thinly sliced (My addition.)
  • 5 pieces of dried mango, thinly sliced (My addition.)

Preparation

  1. Place cubed watermelon in a wide platter with sides or in a large baking or serving dish and spread into a single layer.
  2. In a small pan, toast whole cumin seeds on medium heat for 3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove and coarsely grind with a mortar and pestle. (You can also grind in a spice grinder, but be sure not to grind to a fine powder as the coarse grains of the spice add a wonderful texture.)
  3. Transfer cumin to a small bowl and add all remaining spices and salt. Add citrus juice, jalapeño and mint and mix well. Pour dressing over cubed watermelon and mix to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 1 to 6 hours. Serve chilled the same day.