Down-to-Earth Salads


A sweet earthiness predominates in these winter vegetable salads. Steaming brings out the vegetables' flavors; the turn of your knife gives them geometric shapes.

For the first, serve rutabaga matchsticks, seasoned with a sweet and sour Oriental sauce, over sauteed kale. Cooked, pureed turnips and tahini make a mellow dip for raw carrot and turnip ovals. In the third recipe, sweet cubes of butternut squash balance a hot-tart dressing and slightly bitter greens.

Oriental-style Rutabagas and Kale

2 rutabagas (about 11/4 lb. total)

1/2 pound Chinese link sausages (lop

cheong) or pepperoni, thinly sliced crosswise

3/4 pound kale (tough stems removed),

cut into 2-inch pieces, rinsed and drained

Seasoning sauce (recipe follows)

Peel rutubagas, slice 1/4 inch thick, then stack a few slices at a time and cut into 1/4inch-wide strips.

Pour about 1/2 inch water into a 3- to 4quart pan. Place a steaming rack at least 3/4 inch above bottom of pan, cover, and bring water to a boil over high beat. Add rutabagas; cover and steam until almost tender to bite, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, place sausages in a 10- to 12inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until meat begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels.

Add kale and 2 tablespoons water to frying pan. Cover and cook until greens wilt, 2 to 3 minutes; stir once or twice. Lift greens onto a platter. Drain rutabagas; add to seasoning sauce with sausages and mix. Spoon sauce mixture over kale. Serve warm or cool. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 96 cal; 3.3 g protein; 9.3 g carbo.; 5.2 g fat; 5.8 mg chol.; 302 mg sodium. Seasoning sauce. In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) and seasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar; I tablespoon each soy sauce, Oriental sesame oil, minced fresh ginger, and mirin (sweet rice wine) or dry sherry; and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Turnip-Tahini Dip with Crisp Vegetables

4 medium-sizeturnips(aboutl3/41b.

total)

1/4 cup canned tahini (sesame butter)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

2 large carrots

Thin carrot shreds (optional) Peel turnips. Cut 3 into 1 -inch chunks. …

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