Recipe Source: Jenkins, Sara and Mindy Fox. Olives & Oranges. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2008 p. 27
If you want to play a slightly funny joke on your dinner guests make this easy salad.
When I was first putting this salad together my husband came into the room. "What's all that cheese for?" he asked. I told him it wasn't cheese, it was rutabaga. He said, "Is 'rutabaga' Farsi for cheese?" I said, "No, it's a giant (expletive) turnip." He said, "Oh," sampled some and went on about his day. The recipe directed that the dish sit out at room temperature and I duly assembled it and sat it out on the table, well out of reach of dogs and cats and marauding small children. A friend of ours walked in. He looked at the dish. He looked at me. He looked at the dish again. He looked at me again. I asked, "Can I help you find something?" He said, "Shouldn't this cheese be in the fridge?"
Okay, it's not hugely funny, but sometimes I'll take what I can get.
I had a couple of rutabagas from our final farm share shipments sitting in the fridge. I needed to do something with them. Unfortunately for me, I was feeling incredibly uninspired and had to resort to my cookbook collection for inspiration. I found it in this book, which I rarely use. I'm glad I did, though. This was incredibly easy to prepare with my food processor's help. It was delicious and easily assembled ahead of time.
I made a few changes. I increased the quantity mostly to use up the rutabagas. I used lemon juice instead of lime because I had a bunch of lemons on hand that needed to stop occupying fridge space. I increased the harissa because I frankly like the stuff. I also added some herbs because I had them and because I thought they would round out the dish.
This simple salad was a real hit. Try it sometime when you've got a lot of people to feed and less time to do it in.
Rutabaga Salad (serves 8; approx. $0.79/serving)
2 rutabaga, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons harissa
1 handful fresh thyme leaves
1 handful fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- I used a food processor to grate the rutabagas. You can use a box grater if you need to but try not to bleed into the food.
- Small bowl.
- Combine your grated rutabaga and salt in your serving bowl, which should be roughly the size of Belgium.
- Set aside a minimum of five minutes.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in the small bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the dressing over the rutabaga and toss to coat.
- Set aside up to six hours.