02 Aug Fennel, cabbage, and carrot slaw with quinoa and fresh basil
This is a summer salad that does not require lettuce or green leafy vegetables. I eat salads very often and sometimes I’m looking to change it up. This week, I was struggling with making a salad because I was actually out of leafy greens. And besides, I had so many vegetables from my organic baskets that I wanted to use, I had to find a way to feature other vegetables in my salad. The secret in doing so is the mandoline slicer! If you do not have lettuce or green leafy vegetables and you want to prepare a good salad, take advantage of your mandoline and slice your vegetables finely. You can include several vegetables and combine them to form a tasty mixture. The base of this salad is composed of fennel, red cabbage, and carrots, all sliced with that great kitchen tool! And no need to use exactly the same vegetables as me. Although this salad was exquisite, I’m sure that by inter-changing some of the vegetables, it could be just as delicious.
The fresh basil really gives a summer taste and to accompany it, a simple balsamic vinaigrette is perfect. I really like the classic combination of basil and balsamic vinegar and this tasty salad benefits from these classic flavors.
Also, I really enjoyed this recipe with the pistachios because they are not as common as some other nuts and they really add a delicious almost exotic taste. However, I made it with walnuts as well and it was just as delicious. Walnuts and pistachios both offer interesting health benefits as well, therefore both would work. This recipe yields one portion, that is to say a meal portion. You can also use it as an accompaniment and if you want to make several servings of a complete meal, do not hesitate to double or quadruple the recipe.
Ingredients (serves 1 as a main meal or a few as a side dish)
- ½ medium fennel, thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced with a mandoline
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ to ½ avocado, cubed
- 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tbsp. toasted pistachios (I like to toast them myself in a dry pan)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil (see note)
- 1 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy
- Note: 3 tbsp. olive oil can seem like a lot for one serving. This is because quinoa quickly absorbs the vinaigrette so it does not become oily. If you are sensitive to the amount of oil that you consume, I did try the recipe with only 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar and it was delicious. So I say, if you serve this salad in a buffet, go for more salad dressing and if it’s a meal salad for you, start with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar which may be sufficient.