Sesame-Miso Slaw

Sesame-Miso Slaw

Where have I been, people want to know. I’m flattered, really. I’ve been here all along, home on my computer, doing actual work. And when that work is done, the last thing I want to do is spend time at home on my computer doing leisure. Yes, I consider the website a leisure activity! I love it. The moral of this story is that I’m still trying to create a productive and fulfilling routine for myself here in Philadelphia, and I promise to do better. Starting with this crisp and refreshing summer slaw that I served to my family when I finally invited them over for brunch and a tour of our house. My aunt is the salad queen, and she liked this one, so I consider it a keeper. The veggies are crunchy and bright, and the dressing itself would be delicious on just about anything.

Sesame-Miso Slaw

To make the dressing, get your blender ready. Peel a 1-inch piece of ginger, and throw it in. Add in 1/2 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of white or yellow miso, 2 tablespoons of tahini, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Sesame-Miso Slaw

Blend the dressing very well until all of the chunks are broken up and combined and the whole thing is smooth. Taste the dressing. If you’d like it to be a bit spicier, add the second half of the garlic clove, and blend again. You’ll have more dressing than you need for this salad, which is a very good thing, so store any extra in a jar in the refrigerator.

Sesame-Miso Slaw

Next, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and salt it well. Boil 1/2 pound of whole sugar snap peas for 2 minutes until they are bright green and a little bit tender. Drain the peas, and submerge them in an ice bath to cool.

Sesame-Miso Slaw

While the peas are cooking and cooling, thinly slice 1/4 head of green cabbage into thin ribbons, and add them to a salad bowl. You should have about 3 cups of cabbage ribbons. If you don’t love green cabbage, use whatever kind you like. Cut 4 radishes into matchsticks, ideally using a mandoline. Thinly slice 3 entire scallions. Add all of these vegetables to the salad bowl. Then, drain and dry the sugar snap peas. Trim off any stems, and slice them on a diagonal into thin slices. Add the peas and 2 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds into the salad bowl. Drizzle the vegetables with half of the salad dressing, and toss it well to combine. Top the slaw with 2 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds (black ones are especially pretty here). Set out that salad bowl, and dig in! You should have enough slaw as a side for about 6 people, but you could easily double this entire recipe if you need more.

This recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Shopping list:

For the dressing-

  • Ginger- 1 inch piece
  • Garlic- 1 clove
  • Miso paste- 2 tablespoons
  • Tahini- 2 tablespoons
  • Honey- 1 tablespoon
  • Rice vinegar- 1/4 cup
  • Sesame oil- 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil- 2 tablespoons

For the slaw-

  • Sugar snap peas- 1/2 pound
  • Cabbage- 3 cups, sliced
  • Radishes- 4
  • Scallions- 3
  • Sesame seeds- 3 tablespoons
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Baby Rue Takes a Dip

Baby Rue Takes a Dip

I had a feeling that Rue would be a water dog. She started digging in her water bowl and almost jumped into a fountain. Her hair seems to repel water. And her toes are kind of webbed. She is very different from Stella, who tries to keep her feet dry at all times, whose hair frizzes in the slightest humidity, and whose toes are tufted with wild hair. We were surprised when Rue was hesitant about walking too deeply into a creek, and we were even more surprised when Stella tried to coax her in. Rue thanked Stella by jumping on her head and dunking her entire body under water, turning her into the most adorable looking drowned rat.

Baby Rue Takes a Dip

What really got Rue swimming though was having something to fetch. We started with a bottle cap and quickly upgraded to the entire water bottle. Her first few attempts were frenzied and full of splashes. But she very quickly found her groove and a love of the water. She would race into the creek after the bottle, leaving a wake behind her.

Baby Rue Takes a Dip

She’d grab it between her powerful jaws, and turn to swim it back in. I loved how she put her ears back, maybe to keep them dry, or maybe to help her swim a little faster.

Baby Rue Takes a Dip

When she reached the shore, she was SO proud of herself. This shy little doggy is getting more and more confident every day. Stella was very proud too- Rue is so lucky to have gotten the most patient big sister.

A video posted by @wittyinthecity on

Here’s a little video of Rue in action. We can’t wait for her next adventure!

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Refreshing Carrot Salad

Refreshing Carrot Salad

This is the perfect salad to make when you need a refreshing side dish but have a very sparse pantry. I was making crêpes complète (buckwheat crêpes filled with ham, gruyère, and a runny egg) and knew I would need a bright side salad, something with lemon, to cut through the richness. But I had no salad greens, and the only supermarkets within walking distance of my new home are grossly expensive. I always keep a package of carrots in my refrigerator, so I turned to those. And then I ended up cooking a meal completely out of David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen with his grated carrot salad. It’s exactly the salad that my crêpes required, and I’ve eaten it with a bunch of other delicious meals since.

Refreshing Carrot Salad

To make it, prepare the dressing. To a large bowl, add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Rapidly whisk those ingredients together very well. The olive oil should emulsify into the other ingredients so that they stay blended together and the oil does not separate.

Refreshing Carrot Salad

Then, grate 1 pound of carrots on the large holes of a box grater or using a food processor’s grating attachment. My cookbook is now lovingly splattered with carrot juice (my copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is similarly splattered with red wine).

Refreshing Carrot Salad

Add the carrots into the bowl. Chop 1.5 tablespoons of fresh herbs, and add those to the bowl as well. I used a mixture of thyme and oregano. David Lebovitz recommends parsley, chervil, or chives. Toss everything together, taste the carrots, and add more salt if needed.

Refreshing Carrot Salad

This salad is even more delicious served the next day after the carrots have had a chance to soak up the dressing and release their own juices. It’s delicious served as a side with charcuterie and cheese. It’s also delicious piled on a panini and grilled. This recipe is a winner and absolutely perfect for summer.

Shopping list:

  • Carrots- 1 pound
  • Olive oil- 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dijon mustard- 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh herbs (thyme and oregano)- 1.5 tablespoons, chopped, in total
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