Written by Rachel, Posted in A Cooking Show with Rachel O, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Salads, Sausage, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Do you ever have one of those days where it feels like all the things are piled on your shoulders? Where the budget doesn’t balance, there are spiders in the kitchen, and you need a haircut, but remember that budget? It means you’re gonna DIY that summer do. But then you look outside and take a breath (you don’t actually go out because bugs, plus it’s hot). You scratch the dog’s chin and have a moment of clarity. It frees you to be here, typing away, not worrying about whether the sourdough bread will rise, or if the tomatoes will ever sprout (why even haven’t they?!), or why the wasps like your yard so much. Those things will be dealt with, in time. But, they don’t all need attention right now.
This is what I’m learning these days.
If I’m too far ahead, I’m not in the now. I’m missing out on the good, while I try to muddle through the mediocre and sometimes bad stuff. But, sometimes, out of the bad comes something sweet. Not always. But, often.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed I get caught up in my worry and spin into an endless cycle of too many quesadillas (ok, there can never really be too many) and not enough solid and nutritious meals. I get stuck in remembering the work it takes to put a meal on the table, especially if I’ve just finished an 8 hour day dealing with tourists. Sometimes I just need someone to make food for my face hole so I can eat it while watching Heartland or Schitt’s Creek. But, if I can take a step back once in a while, and this summer is affording me the time to be able to do so, I can remember how much I love to cook. How much joy I find in the monotony of slicing veggies the mandoline. How good cooked food smells. How a well paired beverage completes a meal.
This Shaved Kohlrabi Salad and Thai Sausage is just perfect for this. It’s quick enough to not be a burden. But, there’s a bit of prep required. Barely any, but enough to make you take a second to quiet your brain and just slice for a minute. Then enjoy the shock as you submerge your hands in the ice water to swish the veggies around. It’s hot out. The cold feels good.
This is one of those meals that can be adapted and made a thousand different ways. I was in the mood for Mazzeo’s Spicy Thai Sausage and it paired perfectly with the crispy veggies and their citrusy dressing. Switch things up if you have something different growing in your garden or if you have a favorite kind of sausage. Grill the sausage if you want to get outside. When tomatoes are in season, serve them still warm from the sun, drizzled with dressing. In the colder months, roast some veggies (like carrots, beets, and broccoli) and toss them with the same dressing. You could add a pilaf or quinoa salad on the side. You could serve warm fruit crisp for dessert.
This dish is a reminder to be present, to live simply, and to breathe deeply as you savor the aroma of a good meal.
Shaved Kohlrabi Salad and Thai Sausage – Serves 4
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 pound Mazzeo’s Spicy Thai Sausage
- 1 carrot, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 Armenian cucumbers, very thinly sliced
- 3 kohlrabi, peeled and very thinly sliced
- ice water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 t maple syrup
- 1/4 C chopped chives
- Maldon salt, for serving
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot add the sausage, cut side down. Cook, turning once or twice, until it’s a bit browned and is cooked through and reaches a safe temperature, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Submerge the cut veggies in ice water and let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, and maple syrup until it has emulsified, then stir in the chives. Toss the veggies with the dressing, using your clean hands.
- Serve the salad topped with Maldon salt, alongside the sausage.
This episode has been sponsored by Mazzeo’s Meat Market.