Scarecrow Salad

A couple of decades ago for a “Halloween-Themed Meal,” I’d have put out a bowl of Frankenberry and called it a night.

Four children and the invention of the Internet later, I feel an unnatural urge to theme everything we eat in October into some sort of spooky, ghoulish or otherwise macabrely-crafted fare.

Today I came up with this Scarecrow Salad. It’s a deconstructed, then constructed again, updated Oriental cabbage salad with edamame.

And a cry for help.

This deconstructed Oriental slaw will only scare away Halloween hunger. (And attract bad jokes.)
This deconstructed Oriental slaw will only scare away Halloween hunger. (And attract bad jokes.)

Scarecrow Salad

1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped (2 whole leaves reserved)
1/2 head of purple cabbage, chopped (2 whole leaves reserved)
3 scallions, 2 chopped, 1 cut into 3 equal pieces
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
2/3 c. shelled edamame, thawed
2/3 c. Chinese noodles

Dressing:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 oil seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 c. oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Assemble the scarecrow on a large plater first. With the chopped green cabbage, form two “legs,” then use the purple cabbage to form the chest and arms. Place a small mound of the almonds for the head, while the 3 scallion pieces forms the hat.

Lay trimmed pieces of the whole cabbage leaves over the body and limbs accordingly to give it a cohesive look. Place a small amount of Chinese noodles at the feet and hands, an edamame for the buttons and features for the face.

This only uses a fraction of the ingredients–all of the rest should be placed into a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, and pour over the salad in the bowl. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably 2-4. (Cover the scarecrow platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate as well.)

Serve the dressed salad along side of the scarecrow, or, after your guests have been adequately amused, explain that a tornado has blown through and Mr. Scarecrow was blown back into the bowl. He may not have a brain, but you have a stomach so all’s fair in Oz.

©2013 Tracey Henry

The best (and simplest) Dijon-Lemon Vinaigrette

I haven’t bought a bottle of salad dressing since the Clinton administration.

Not when it is so much easier, tastier, healthier and less expensive to make them on your own.

Here’s a simple one to start with that will transform your salads instantly. All you need is a jar with a lid or some sort of dressing-making vehicle. Mine is from the last Pampered Chef party I went to at the same time I bought that last bottled dressing.

Best Dijon-lemon Vinaigrette. Est. 1998.
Best Dijon-lemon Vinaigrette. Est. 1998.

Dijon-Lemon Vinaigrette

(Use these measurements as a guide–make it your own.)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 c. (or so) olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper

1.) Plop a spoonful of mustard in the jar. Juice the lemon over top. Add the olive oil. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste.

2.) Shake or mix well.

3.) Serve over a salad or with a straw. It’s that good.

©2013 Tracey Henry