Hey, What’s Cookin’?
St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday March 17–and you know what that means, right?
NO, not green beer! NO, not 10 am brawls at a downtown Irish pub (yeah, I’ve seen it!).
Here in the U.S. St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with a bountiful Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner! I know that many of you already plan to be extra careful this week to keep your food intake m.e.l.t.-compliant so you can enjoy the traditional meal with family and friends. But…what if the corned beef and cabbage was made more m.e.l.t.-compliant by turning it into a salad? That’s the genius idea put forth by a recent edition of the Hartford Courant newspaper’s “Flavor & Living” section.
So I took that idea and RAN with it! I’ve reworked the recipe a bit to accommodate our m.e.l.t. standards. For example, instead of potatoes, you’ll be enjoying purple-top turnips!
Why turnips? Well, why NOT?! At only 35 calories for a 1-cup serving, purple-top turnips are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. They provide vitamins K, A, C, E, 5 of the B vitamins and folate, as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. They are also a good source of phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Plus, they’re just plain delicious–and that makes the purple-top turnip a whole lotta bang for your buck!
St. Patrick’s Day Salad
Adapted from: Hartford Courant
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is awesome and organic!)
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp tarragon
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lb green cabbage, very thinly shredded; cut longer strands in half
- 1 tbs kosher salt
- 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 lb purple-top turnips, peeled and stem/root ends trimmed
- 1 lb cooked corned beef, trimmed of fat, chopped into bite-size pieces (4 oz per salad)
- 4 tsp chopped chives (or plain onion, if you prefer)
For the dressing:
Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake well to emulsify, then taste and adjust the salt & pepper as needed. Refrigerate.
For the vegetables:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tbs Kosher salt. Add the green beans and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer beans to a colander to drain and cool. Remove to a holding dish.
- Prepare turnips as follows: any turnips less than 3″ in diameter can go in the pot whole. If they are bigger they must be halved first.
- Add turnips to pot, add 1 tbs of sugar to water, and boil for 25-30 minutes until tender. Pour cooked turnips into colander and allow to drain and cool enough to handle, then cut into bite-size chunks.
Arrange the salads:
- Divide the shredded cabbage among 4 shallow salad bowls or plates. Next divide and layer the diced turnips, green beans, and cooked corned beef. Sprinkle the chives on top of each serving.
- Top the salads with dressing and serve. Pass any remaining dressing.
- Adding just a bit of sugar to the cooking pot helps eliminate any bitterness that may arise when boiling turnips.
- Wishing your salad had carrots, too? Just add ’em! Peel 4 carrots and cut them in half both horizontally and vertically. Cook them in the boiling water (after the green beans) for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Scoop them out of the pot and drain them in the colander.
Photograph via Kroger