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Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore, there is a salad here for you. Every Shabbat I make at least four salads and dips, several of which we will enjoy throughout the week. It’s a delicious habit that I adopted after spending time in Israel where salads are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Aside from being delicious, they add so much color to any meal. And don’t we eat with all of our senses?
There are fresh salads, roasted vegetable salads and salads with a profusion of herbs and grains. Some of the salads are made with beans which add protein and heartiness. Almost any veg and many fruits, legumes and grains can be made into cold or warm salads. And when I want to make a light meal of salads I simply add some feta cheese or a piquant provolone and delicious bread, like the flaky flatbread or focaccia. The more I make these flatbreads the better I get at it. My last batch were nice and poufy and round! I simply refrigerate leftover breads and warm them in the toaster. They also freeze well. Yummmmmmmmmm!
Over the years, I have posted a number of salads and will link to some of them below. But here are three new ones (for me) that hopefully you will enjoy as well. They are guaranteed to brighten up just about any meal. The inspiration for this post comes from Sonya’s Prep. She is lovely young Orthodox Jewish vlogger that I have recently begun following. Her energy, charm and creativity make watching her a delight. And if anyone is looking to be more organized, she is someone to watch.
The three new salads are: Roasted Eggplant Peppers and Red Onion Salad; Shredded Carrot and Red Cabbage Salad; and Wheatberry and Barberry Salad
When you are feeding a crowd these salads can be doubled or tripled. And most people will enjoy these salads so much that you can go easy on the meat, if serving. Better for us and better for the planet.
I will give suggested measurements, but please don’t get too bogged down with being exact. When preparing these, I almost never truly measure, especially when it comes to adding fresh herbs. Taste as you go along, especially with the salt and dried spices. You can always add more but it is difficult to impossible to remove them once added.
For those interested in other delicious salad ideas here are just some of the ones available through my blog:
Roasted Eggplant Peppers and Red Onion Salad
1 medium eggplant – about 1.25 pounds
2 smallish bell peppers in different colors
1 medium red onion
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup EVOO
About 1/4 cup of white wine or apple cider vinegar
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced including dark green stems
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Chop the eggplant, onions and peppers into a large dice of approximately equal size. Place on a baking sheet and toss together with the EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the veggies across the baking sheet in a single layer. (If you want to use foil for easier clean-up, go ahead. But it does end up in a landfill….)
Roast the vegetables for about 30 minutes, turning the pan once. They should be golden and tender but not mushy. Ovens vary so check after 25 minutes or it could go as along as 35.
When cool enough to handle, transfer everything to a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Taste to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
Shredded Carrot and Red Cabbage Salad
About 6 ounces pre-packaged shredded carrots OR about 4 cups carrots that are trimmed and julienned
About 1 cup of shredded red cabbage
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into pieces about the size of the carrot shreds
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
1.5 teaspoons granulated or Demerara sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper or Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons EVOO
1 to 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice from 1 lemon
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1.5 Tablespoons dried dill
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
Place everything in bowl large enough to comfortably hold the ingredients. Mix everything well, preferably with your hands. You want to massage the carrots to soften them a bit. Taste to adjust seasonings. Yup, that’s it!
Wheatberry and Barberry Salad
1 cup uncooked hard winter wheatberries (You could use farro or barley if wheatberry isn’t available; however, they will not have that unique chewy nuttiness that a properly cooked wheatberry has.)
1/2 of a small red onion, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 thinly sliced red radishes
2 Persian cucumbers cut in to quarters and diced
1/2 cup dried barberries (You could use currants instead but they won’t be as flavorful.)
2 generous cups, finely chopped fresh herbs (I used dill, cilantro and parsley, but mint would also be good)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon or more to taste
1 teaspoon of kosher salt or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 to 3 Tablespoons flavorful EVOO
Soak the wheatberries for at least 8 hours or overnight. Bring 3 cups of water or broth with a glug of olive oil to a boil in a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid. If using water or unsalted broth, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Drained the wheatberries and add to the boiling liquid. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. This can be done a few days ahead. Just refrigerate the cooked wheatberries in their liquid.
You want the wheatberries to be cold or no warmer than room temperature. Place them, drained of any accumulated liquid, in a bowl and add all of the other ingredients. Gently but thoroughly toss well. Now enjoy!