There are salads and there are salads. I’m sure you all know I adore salads. I have one nearly everyday for lunch. And I know I’ve mentioned before my love for all of the Silver Palate cookbooks. Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins were really the first great multi-ethnic inspiration for American home cooks back in the early 80’s. (Of course Julia Child introduced us all to French cooking much earlier.) Their store on the Upper West Side in NYC provided a platform and they shared their great tasting, easy to follow recipes that were both different and delicious. Their recipes always worked. You could implicitly trust them for that. I found this Sauerkraut, Apple and String Cheese Salad recipe some months ago when I was planning Zach’s early birthday dinner before he left for Poland with his Fulbright. My husband and I thought it sounded so unusual and weird, we had to try it. We were game.
So I called Zach and described the recipe to him. He loves sauerkraut.
He said, “Eeeewww.”
OK, I still found it intriguing and made a mental note to make it some day. Again, Julee and Sheila’s recipes have never let me down.
So let’s think about this. Sauerkraut is simply pickled cabbage. They ask you to rinse and drain it, so hey, we’re moving now closer to coleslaw, right, with the sauerkraut people doing all the cutting. I like that! You combine the sauerkraut with matchsticks of Granny Smith apple, red onion and chopped cornichons – all good.
Then, you make a homemade mayo using grainy mustard – sounding better – right? Use the mayo to bind it together with the string cheese and some caraway seeds (always good with sauerkraut) and voila! This salad was DELICIOUS!!! Really different and total yum. It was hard to stop eating it!
And it was easy to make! It really came together very quickly. I did change a few things, so here is my adapted recipe.
They say this is great with a charcuterie board. I served it for dinner with some grilled chorizo and simple polenta (with no cheese added). It was so good!
SAUERKRAUT, APPLE AND STRING CHEESE SALAD – serves 6 – adapted from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
2 egg yolks
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. grainy mustard
¾ cup olive oil
¾ cup vegetable oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 lb. sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (only use bagged sauerkraut, no cans)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated or sliced thin on a mandoline and then cut into matchsticks
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 oz. Armenian string cheese, pulled apart into very small strings and cut into 3” lengths
6 cornichons, coarsely chopped
1 scant Tbs. caraway seeds
Cornichons, sliced lengthwise for garnish
Process the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a food processor for 30 seconds. With the machine running pour in the olive oil and then the vegetable oil in a thin steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Combine the sauerkraut, apple, onion, chopped cornichons and caraway seeds in a large bowl. Toss the salad thoroughly with enough mayonnaise to bind. (You will have about 3/4 of a cup left over which you can use on sandwiches or put a dab on some steamed asparagus or green beans. It will keep for 4 – 5 days on the top shelf of your refrigerator and it is delicious!) Cover the salad and refrigerate until cold.
Meanwhile, prepare your string cheese and let it come to room temperature, covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
When ready to serve, fold in the string cheese thoroughly. Garnish with the sliced cornichons. Serve with love and enjoy!!