My latest obsession is fresh turmeric. I’ve read so many things about the health benefits of turmeric so when I saw some organic Peruvian turmeric at the corner market I HAD to grab some to experiment/play with!
Now that I’ve gotten over the initial trepidation of using a new spice, I’m incorporating it into all sorts of dishes, from rice to lentils to quinoa – and now even in my salad dressing(s)!
The following salad dressing requires, in my opinion, a hearty salad with some texture and crunch to balance out the heat of the jalapeño. I really enjoy it with the following:
Charred Corn, Cabbage and Bell Pepper Salad (serves 2)
- 2 cups green or red cabbage (shredded)
- 1/2 cup julienned (thin strips) carrot
- 1 cup julienned bell pepper (red, orange and/or yellow)
- 3/4 cup corn
- 1/3 cup red onion, shredded
- Garnish options: Roasted peanuts or cashews, feta cheese, fresh cilantro, cherry tomatoes, green onion
METHOD: (this is just a suggestion. You don’t need to char the vegetables to have a great salad!).
- Cut/prepare vegetables.
- Get a non-stick pan searing hot (it should be starting to smoke).
- Add the corn in and do not stir or move it. DO NOT ADD OIL OR BUTTER. THE PAN SHOULD BE DRY OR THE VEGETABLES WILL COOK INSTEAD OF CHAR.
- Once the corn starts ‘popping’ (literally, like popcorn), give the pan a shake.
- When the corn starts to char/blacken, remove from pan and into a large mixing bowl.
- Repeat process with red onions and then with bell peppers. You only want to ‘flash’ them into the hot pan to give a nice char. You’re not trying to cook them. A few SECONDS in the pan is plenty.
Turmeric and Jalapeno Dressing (enough for 4 servings)
NOTE: I use a microplane for grating ginger, garlic, turmeric and all citrus zest. It is an essential kitchen tool, in my opinion.
- 1 medium sized jalapeno, seeds removed (keep a few if you want the dressing really spicy!)
- 1 4″ piece of turmeric, peeled and grated (or 3/4 tsp ground turmeric, but use the fresh stuff if you can!)
- 1 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 clove garlic (about 1 tsp), grated
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- salt to taste
METHOD: pulse all ingredients together in a food processor or hand-held blender and toss into salad. Season salad with salt to taste.
NOTE: If you have any dressing left over it’s wonderful thrown into quinoa, rice or lentils!!