Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cooking Southern: Fall Slaws, Salads

Broccoli and Bacon Salad
Broccoli and Bacon Salad

Grove-ready sweet and savory dishes.

By Laurie Triplette

ldtriplette@aol.com

SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK

Groving: What one does during home games at Ole Miss — tailgating and befriending folks in The Grove, that glorious green zone at the center of the university’s psyche. (Think juking, except site-specific and with much more class.) Gird your loins and pace yourselves, people. Football season has finally come back home to The Grove … for six weeks in a row.

FALL SLAWS AND SALADS

The Old Bride is about to be plumb tuckered out after weeks of social commitments and business-related conferencing. There’s just one more professional conference to attend before revving my socializing engines for the upcoming holiday season. This time, I’m off to San Antonio, TX, for art business. As one of the old dogs on the docket, I get to expound on the state of the art market and how to write IRS-worthy reports. I’m already getting a headache.

Maybe the stress of addressing a crowd while locked in a hotel along the Riverwalk will melt away some of the poundage I picked up during last week’s Southern Foodways symposium. But then again, maybe not. After all, San Antone has fantastic Mexican cuisine, and my art buddies are as dedicated to achieving culinary satisfaction as my food buddies. They’re always willing to stay up late in search of a good meal and fine beverages.

I promise to return with some new and fabulous Tex-Mex recipes.

Meanwhile, this cook has begun to crave the Fall-ish foods that pair well with the grill food No. 1 Son, our Ole Miss senior, has been firing up for Groving. Apples, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cranberries, tree nuts, and pears are all in season. All of these foods work well in sweet or in savory hot dishes and in cold slaws and salads. This week I am featuring three of my favorites. Try them with your pulled pork, grilled fowl, or baked fish.

APPLE SLAW

Apple SlawThere are several variations for this delightful slaw. One version contains chiffonades of raw kale. Another includes chopped fennel and celery root. Yet another includes loosely chopped roasted beetroot and oranges. All versions recommend adding nuts, and it is up to the cook to decide whether to use roasted pecans, roasted pine nuts, or walnuts.

1/4 c extra light olive oil

1/4 c plain yogurt

3 T honey (or 2 T honey and 1 T white granulated sugar)

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp sea salt

15 mill twists of black pepper (about 1/4 tsp)

1 small cabbage (red cabbage may be used)

4 crisp apples

2 c walnut halves

4 to 6 radishes

Whisk the first five ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Refrigerate. Wash and dry the cabbage and remove core. Cut cabbage in half and slice thin. Coarse-chop the thin slices. Cut the radishes into paper-thin slices, and then cut into matchsticks. Peel and core the apples, chop the apples into matchstick slices. Combine the cabbage, radishes and apples in a large mixing bowl. Loosely chop the walnut halves and toss into mixture. Add chilled dressing and toss until completely blended. Use your hands to mix it if necessary. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving. Yield: About 16 servings.

BROCCOLI AND BACON SALAD

This is one instance in which Miracle Whip is preferred to mayonnaise.

1/2 to 1 lb bacon

4 to 6 c fresh broccoli, chopped

2-oz pkg sliced almonds

1 c gold raisins or dried cranberries

Large red onion, chopped

4-oz pkg salted sunflower seeds, or 1 c roasted peanuts

2 T red wine vinegar

2 T white granulated sugar

1 c Miracle Whip Salad Dressing

Fry bacon and crumble. Let cool. Combine next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; refrigerate. Mix vinegar, sugar and Miracle Whip to make dressing. Toss salad in dressing one hour before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

WILD RICE SALAD

Wild Rice SaladThis salad is a delight as a foil for grilled fish, roasted fowl, or pulled pork. Depending on what it accompanies, the salad is tasty with dried cranberries or golden raisins, or with fresh grapes and tangerine segments.

2 c wild rice mix (white, brown, red, and wild rice)

3 c water or 4 c chicken broth

6-oz pkg of fresh French green beans

3 to 4 radishes, sliced thin and chopped

1/4 c extra light olive oil

2 T red wine vinegar

1 tsp white granulated sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 shallot, fine-diced

4 green onions, chopped fine

1/2 c salted, roasted sunflower seeds

3/4 c dried cranberries

Combine the rice and water (or broth) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on medium and cook for 20 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook about 10 more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and turn rice into mixing bowl. Cool completely and refrigerate about one hour.

While rice is chilling, rinse the green beans; cut off the tips. Bring water to a boil in saucepan, drop in beans, and blanch for 1-1/2 minutes (90 seconds). While beans are cooking, fill a bowl with ice and cold water. Drain beans quickly and plunge into ice water for 3 minutes. Drain again and pat dry. Chop into 1-inch lengths.

Combine the chilled rice, beans, and green onion in a large mixing bowl. Add the sunflower seeds and cranberries. Toss to blend.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper together. Add the minced shallot. Pour over the rice mixture and toss until completely coated. Chill until ready to serve. Yield: 2 quarts (about 8 servings).

Laurie Triplette is a writer, historian, and accredited appraiser of fine arts, dedicated to preserving Southern culture and foodways. Author of the award-winning community family cookbook GIMME SOME SUGAR, DARLIN’, and editor of ZEBRA TALES (Tailgating Recipes from the Ladies of the NFLRA), Triplette is a member of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ),Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA)  and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SOFAB). Check out the GIMME SOME SUGAR, DARLIN’ web site: www.tripleheartpress.com and follow Laurie’s food adventures on Facebook and Twitter (@LaurieTriplette).

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