March 8 International Women’s Day and I am acutely aware that I am lucky to be sitting here at my desk in the weak tremulous spring sunlight, writing and thinking about food, experimenting with recipes and enjoying my many freedoms. Recently after attending the International Pen Awards for those who write under duress I wrote a piece about writing in the warmth without fear of arrest or harassment – I know this is a blog is primarily about food (which I find tremendously important of course) but I can’t help but think of those women who work for freedom and justice and all those in the world who may be going without food today for reasons of war, injustices, lack of fair trade, water etc. I made a little salad today to share for lunch and thought I might just entitle it International Women’s Day Salad but that seemed way too grand. So, it’s just a little Spring Salad to Share. There will be something for everyone in it I hope. The secret is to have a really sweet crisp cabbage. In The Netherlands I use a pointy little number called a “spitskool”. Goes well with virtually anything this little salad. We had it with portabella mushrooms on Brood’s Spelt bread with a chaser of Twinning Organic Early Grey iced tea. You can see we are longing for the summer.Enjoy…
Make a dressing by blending kaffir lime leaves (frozen or fresh) – If you have fresh, then remove the spine and chop finely into tiny shreds. Add a tablespoon of rice vinegar, some lime or lemon juice (approx a tablespoon) some palm sugar to taste, fresh mint leaves and a good dollop of your favourite olive oil. I used lemon infused oil and added some water. Blend with a hand held wand. Taste and adjest seasonings. Sieve if using frozen lime leaves as they can be tough.
Mix the following ingredients together in a pretty glass bowl
Half a cabbage, finely sliced
A blood red carrot if you can locate one or a normal carrot cut into ribbions
Almonds toasted in a fry pan with a teaspoon of tamari sauce (be careful, don’t burn them) or peanuts
A red or green apple. cored and chopped into small peices
some torn mint and coriander leaves
Mix with dressing and feel free to grate on some raw beetroot and finish with a mixture of herbs. Lovely!