My family has very few long standing traditions. I am unsure as to why that is true. It may be because there is no family home that my mom has lived in for years (we are all very nomadic) nor did either of my parents come from families that had deeply rooted traditions by which they lived. But there is one tradition that seems to have emerged that I have begun to notice. Whenever there is a celebration or marking of an event, we make Smorgasbord.
Smorgasbord is a traditional celebration feast for Swedes (and our father did have a bit of Swedish ancestry, hence our last name). It usually includes Swedish meatballs and some pickled fish. But we do not make your typical Smorgasbord (because if you know us, you know there is nothing typical about the Lindquists!) Our Smorgasbord is a little of everything so that everyone gets what they want. It usually includes pickles and olives, lots of cheese, some form of meat or fish (smoked of any kind is always a great choice!) and always vegetables. Our family is a great lover of vegetables! Most often the vegetables are cut up crudite style and dips abound. This is the sort of meal we have on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day or more recently for a send off of one my sisters as she left for the East Coast.
Needless to say, when we have these meals there are always leftovers, allowing for quick and easy assembly of great vegetable salads. I recently loved Smitten Kitchen’s post for Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing and decided it would be the perfect dressing for all of those cut veggies I had. I followed her recipe almost exactly, except I added a teaspoon of soy sauce because I felt it needed just a bit to balance it out.
Not only did it look beautiful on the salad but the taste of fresh ginger and carrot with a hint of miso paired marvelously with the light green veggies. As she notes in her post, this dressing is great on so many things. Look for a future post using it with steamed kale!
Carrot Ginger Dressing
1/2 large carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 small shallot or 2 green onions (white parts only) chopped
1 tablespoon white/red miso
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons safflower or another neutral oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
Whiz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil and add soy sauce if using. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil and the water. Spoon over your favorite salad mixings.