The times we resort to getting our vegetables from a plastic bottle are few and far between. Driving at midnight on the I-5 North. Drinking vodka on an airplane… Yep, that’s about it.
But we can still admit there’s something wholesome about the notion that you can get all you need for the day from a fiber-fest of tomatoes, celery, onion, parsley, carrot, beets, cucumber and spinach, all in one quick slog. So, when we recently needed to conceive a mid-meal salad course to reset the palate, we decided to harness that raw power of the infamous all-eight cylinders: We transformed V-8 onto a plate. Its our sort of ‘everything and the kitchen sink salad.’
To make it work we cut the carrots, cukes and celery into ribbons. We subbed favorite new economical purchase, the daikon, for the too-grassy-tasting spinach. And we used the parsley and cayenne (Spicy kicks Original’s ass) as garnish. What about the ‘matoes? We made them into the dressing, of course.
Tomato Water Vinaigrette
(Makes 2 cups)
2 ripe red tomatoes
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. pickle brine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh dill
fresh black pepper to taste
1. Toss the tomatoes into a blender, or a juicer, and puree completely. Now, strain to get just the tomato juice using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Toss the seeds and flesh and place the strained juice back in the food processor.
2. Add Aleppo pepper, cayenne, salt, pickle brine and lemon. Puree thoroughly while slowly adding olive oil. When all the olive oil has been incorporated, blend for and additional 2-3 minutes. Add black pepper and finely chopped, fresh dill. Set aside.
2 small beets
3 mid-sized carrots
1/4 cup daikon radish ribbons
1 persian cucumber
1 celery stalk
1 green onion
1 tsp. sumac
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
3. Roast your beets ahead of time. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice away the top of each beet from whence the stems protrude. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until fork enters beet easily. Set aside to cool.
4. Remove beet skin with a towel you don’t mind getting dirty. Place beets in the fridge for at least one hour.
5. Prepare the bulk of your salad. Wash and peel the carrots and daikon to remove outer skin. Peel both into ribbons. Peel the cucumber into thicker slices, keeping the green skin. Peel the celery into thinner strings by taking the peeler to the side of the celery.
6. Slice the green onion into thin biased cuts and the shallot into thin half-moon slices. Toss with the rest of the veggies and keep chilled until serving.
7. To plate: Slice the cold beets into thin rounds and make them the base of your plate. Toss veggie ribbons with 1/4 cup of tomato-vin dressing and rest salad on top of beets. Put the rest of the dressing in a squirt bottle and dress the plate. Sprinkle sumac around the plate for color and garnish with whole sprigs of flat leap parley and dill.
Beverage: Hair of the Dog’s Blue Dot IPA
Iggy Pop’s “Raw Power”
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