Frustrated by not knowing how to do something in the kitchen?
Empathizing with the actor who is working too hard to make the task seem daunting?
INTRODUCING! The all new tool to put an end to all that misery for just $(1)9.99!
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.
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.
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.
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.