These recipes for winter root salad and seared brussel sprouts come courtesy of Chef Brad Greenhill and owner Courtney Henriette of Katoi.
WINTER ROOTS SALAD
2 carrots (preferably multi colored), peeled and shaved lengthwise using a mandoline (2 c)
1 parsnip, peeled and shaved lengthwise using a mandoline (1 c)
1/2 golden beet, peeled and shaved crosswise using a mandoline (scant 1/2 c)
1/2 small watermelon radish, peeled and shaved crosswise using a mandoline (scant 1/2 c)
Coconut vinaigrette, recipe follows
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp kaffir lime leaves (available at asian grocer), very thinly sliced
2 tbsp culantro / sawtooth herb (available at asian or latin grocer), very thinly sliced
2 tbsp Thai basil, very thinly sliced
2 tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 tbsp peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp cashews, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fried shallots (available at Asian grocer)
Combine all the roots and the herbs in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with the vinaigrette until desired taste is achieved. Transfer all roots and liquid to serving platter or bowl and garnish with the chopped nuts and crispy shallots.
COCONUT MILK VINAIGRETTE
2.5 tbsp thin soy sauce
3 tbsp palm sugar simple (recipe follows)
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 c coconut cream
2 red thai chilies, thinly sliced
Whisk together all the above ingredients in a small bowl.
PALM SUGAR SIMPLE SYRUP
6 oz palm sugar
4 oz water
Combine 6 oz of chopped palm sugar with 4 oz of water in a small sauce pan and heat over medium until the palm sugar is dissolved.
SEARED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
1 lb Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/3 c tamarind sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 c garlic confit (recipe follows)
4 red Thai chilies, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 scallion, slivered
3 tbsp roasted cashews, chopped
3+ tbsp garlic oil (see confit recipe that follows)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add enough salt for it to taste like the sea. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 1 minute or until they are no longer raw but still crunchy. Remove from the boiling water and shock them in a bowl of ice water. Once cool, drain well and transfer to a mixing bowl.
To the mixing bowl add a generous tablespoon or so of the garlic oil to the Brussels sprouts and season with kosher salt. Mix well.
In a large cast iron pan or wok heat the remaining garlic oil over night heat. Just before the oil starts to smoke add the Brussels sprouts to the pan. Sear the sprouts, cut side down if possible, being careful not to stir or disturb. You are looking for caramelization. After about 1-2 minutes give the sprouts a stir/ toss and add the garlic confit cloves and Thai chilies. Allow to cook for another 30 seconds. Add in the tamarind sauce and cook for another 45 seconds then give them another stir. You want the liquid to reduce and thicken slightly but not to evaporate completely or start to burn, about another 30 seconds.
Remove the sprouts from the heat and stir in half the cashews and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the slivered scallions and the remaining cashew crumble.
1/2 c thin soy sauce
4 oz palm sugar
1 c tamarind water (see note below)
Combine the thin soy sauce and palm sugar in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until the palm sugar is dissolved into the thin soy. Allow to cool.
Stir in the tamarind water. Once cool, tamarind sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To make tamarind water combine 2.5 ounces of wet, seedless tamarind pulp (tamarind pulp blocks are available at Asian grocers) with 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Use the back of a spoon or a potato masher to break up the tamarind as it heats up. Once the tamarind is broken up and the solution comes up to a boil immediately remove from the heat and cover for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes further stir and break up the tamarind and then pass through a fine mesh sieve, pushing as much pulp through the sieve as it easily allows and scraping off the outer bottom of the sieve. Discard the excess pulp. You should have about two cups tamarind water. Once cool tamarind water can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. It can also be easily frozen.
1 cup peeled garlic cloves
2 cups olive oil
Cut off and discard the root ends of the garlic cloves. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and add enough olive oil to cover them by about 1/2 to 1 inch - none of the garlic cloves should be poking through the oil.
Set the saucepan on the stove over low heat.
The key to good garlic confit is to let it cook very gently. Small bubbles will eventually come up through the oil, but the bubbles should not break the surface or roll aggressively. If the oil starts to aggressively bubble adjust the heat as necessary and/or move the pan off the heat if it is cooking too quickly. Return back to the burner after a few minutes of settling. Cook the garlic for about 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the cloves are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, but not browned. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the garlic to cool in the oil.
Once cool, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.