French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad

Vanilla Vegetable Salad Dorie Greenspan

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Empathizing with the actor who is working too hard to make the task seem daunting?
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Ah… the infomercial. That minute of television programming that introduces you to the wonders of cleaners, questionable apparel and all those cooking gadgets. Have you ever fallen prey to the promises of (top rack only) dishwasher safe culinary glory?

Don’t let me be the only one!
And please believe it has only happened once.

salad with spiralized vegetables

KarmaFree Cooking Class salad from December 2013. I really want some of that raw pumpkin now.

I had been eyeing for a LONG time one of those big, beautiful spiralizing machines. In the first KarmaFree Cooking class I attended, we made a salad with spiralized vegetables. Eating greens topped with the thinnest strands of raw carrots, beets, and pumpkin was such a treat. I went home right away to look for a spiralizer online. It spent almost a year in my Amazon wish list. I didn’t get it for Christmas, probably because that’s one large piece of equipment we can questionably squeeze into already stuffed cupboards.

That’s how I found myself with a drawer-friendly vegetable spiral vegetable cutter, purchased in the always entertaining ‘as seen on TV’ aisle of a drugstore chain. While vegetable strands are nowhere near as delicate as the ones from the larger, more coveted machine, it does an alright job. Just alright.

Vanilla Bean Salad Dorie Greenspan

No, that’ s not dirt on my mesclun.

Introducing… Savory Vanilla!

For some people, using vanilla in savory preparations may be a harder sell than many of the gadgets advertised in television.  Luckily, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Vanilla Vegetable Salad, is a good starting point for the risk averse.  By pairing vanilla bean pulp with lemons – a match that works really well in sweets – a simple juice and olive oil dressing gains complexity.  It becomes smoky and floral at the same time.

As with most of Dorie’s salad recipes, the dressing amounts seem a little stingy.  I doubled it, combining two tablespoons of lemon juice, a quarter cup of olive oil, and the scrapings of an inch of a vanilla bean.  Although the recipe from Around My French Table calls for vanilla extract,  the dressing that inspired it included a pinch of vanilla bean.  I’ll give the extract version a try soon.

Vanilla Vegetable Salad Dorie Greenspan

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group – going four years strong now – where dozens of bloggers cook and write their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  Check out how the fearless Doristas tackled the Vanilla Vegetable salad here

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

14 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad”

  1. September 26, 2014 at 5:39 am #

    Yay! We missed you 🙂
    I like your vegetable strands. I do have one of the larger white ones (and it does take up more space than I would like it to), but I enjoy working with it. (And some of the veggie pastas are really rather delicious).
    Have a great weekend, lady!

  2. September 26, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Welcome back, my friend!!! I just bought a spiralizer, too…and contemplated a similar twist on this recipe. What a gorgeous result!!!

  3. September 26, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Adriana! So nice to see you this week! I’ve missed you. You’re definitely tempting me with the spiralizer. We eat lots of salad too and that’s an elegant shape change from simply chopped. Beautiful!

  4. September 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Such a beautiful salad Adriana, the colors are gorgeous. This was not a favorite for us,
    but we tried it. Dorie has surprised us all with some crazy ingredients so you really don’t know what to expect.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Maria Aponte
    September 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    This sounds super refreshing! Must try! 🙂 Saludos!

  6. September 27, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    You are so funny with your gadget pitch. I am impressed with the cuts. Beautiful salad. So glad to see you back.

  7. September 27, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Your little gadget makes a beautiful salad! I’m glad you enjoyed this salad; we didn’t care for it. Welcome back to FFwD. We’ve missed you.

  8. September 27, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    I enjoyed your post and your wit! and your vegetable spirals! The extract version which I did was enjoyable.

  9. September 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Welcome back!!! I might have liked this salad more if I had lovely, thin strands of veggies like yours.

  10. September 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    Great way to come back to the group – loved this post. Your spiralized vegetables look beautiful; well worth a trip to the ‘as seen on TV’ aisle. I think the dressing would be even better with the scrapings of a vanilla bean and prettier, too.

  11. September 28, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Welcome back, Adriana! I’ve missed you!
    I’m impressed you have only succumbed once to those crazy late night commercials! I’ve been eyeing the spiralizer for a while now, trying to justify another gadget to add to my collection. Your salad looks so pretty with those thinly sliced spirals…just lovely!! Happy weekend!

  12. September 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    I enjoyed your pictures, so colorful. My family asked that I not make this salad again.

  13. Mary Hirsch
    September 28, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Welcome back. You have been missed as you can see by all the comments above. A year ago, around this time, we were all in Seattle. As is usual with me, the Johnny-Come-Lately-to-the-Party, I have never heard of a “big, beautiful spiralizing machine”. But if you and Liz each own one, I am sold. I read all your Posts (except the ones that are written in Spanish) and am trying to follow your very wonderful Life. But, it’s nice to see you on our Link and I hope you will become a permanent fixture again. I didn’t make this recipe, did a make-up instead, but if I get my whirly-whirly, I might just give it a whirl.

  14. September 29, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    I have always found Dorie’s recipes light on the salad dressing too – thought it was just me. I won’t be trying this one again – it was alright but didn’t float my boat.

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