Not yet spring salad

This horrible wind that has been blowing for the past week is gone and the sun showed her smile in the past two days! The first snowdrops are flowering; how they do it in this cold is a mystery to me. My cat is even losing her hair as if to show me that a scarf, hat and gloves are not necessary anymore but let’s not be hasty, it’s just the beginning of February, it’s winter.

Even though nature comes to life again when the temperature is well above zero degrees, the vegetables are not yet to be persuaded, there is still a big chance of frost. We have to live of cabbage, potato’s onions etc for some time still or, if we can’t resist, eat a water inflated tomato bomb.

I’m not a big cabbage fan but it is what the land offers us in this time of the year. Hence my mission became: how to make something tasty out of a cabbage.

Cabbage salad

Cut some red cabbage into very thin stripes. Do the same for an equal amount of lettuce. With a fork mince some fettah and add some sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon zest, black pepper and za’tar. Mix everything together well and add some juicy green olives.

Another option

Cut the red cabbage in very thin stripes. Do the same for the lettuce. Cut cucumber in long, small stalks.  In a bowl mix together a tablespoon of tahina, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt, a minced garlic clove,  a tablespoon of sesame seeds and a tablespoon of yogurt. Add enough water to make a dressing. Mix well, it will get lumpy first but this will straighten out if you keep on stirring. Mix everything together.

Beetroot salad with yogurt dressing

Roasted beets have a wonderful sweet and earthy flavor; but if you end up with a pair of cooked beets of which most of the flavor is flushed away with the cooking water, there is still hope. Naturally roasted beets have my preference but I managed to make a very tasty salad with the cooked version as well. You can also change the peas for lentils but the peas do give a nice bite to the salad.

This is what you need (makes about 8 sides)

500 gram beetroot

Big handful of fresh spinach

1 cup yellow peas

1 pear in cubes

3 tomatoes

Chunk of fettah

½ cup full yogurt

5 garlic cloves

2 red onions

Bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried thyme

A handful of chopped mint

Teaspoon sumac

2 tablespoons balsamico vinegar

One tablespoon honey

One tablespoon cider vinegar

Pepper and salt

Lemon juice

Cook the yellow peas with the bay leaf and one chopped garlic clove until soft but not mushy.

Cut the onion and tomatoes in parts and slice 3 garlic cloves. Heat a layer of oil in a big skillet and slowly bake the onion, tomato and garlic on a low fire for about 10 minutes.

Cut the beetroot in little cubes and add them to the onion. Mix it well, add the balsamico vinegar, thyme and the honey, generous pepper and salt and turn the fire a little higher.

To make the dressing. Mix the yogurt with a crushed garlic clove, sumac, cider vinegar, mint, honey pepper and salt.

When the beet is warm and caramelized, mix it with the peas, crumble the fettah and add the spinach and the pear.

Serve the salad with a dot of the yogurt dressing on top.