Diana Dammann (the founder and organizer of our local Saarbruecken vegetarian society) brought this dish to a barbecue this summer, and I really liked it. It’s supposed to be a raw “spaghetti and tomato sauce”, but to me it just seemed like a very tasty salad. The zucchini, carrot, and kohlrabi all add a different type of crunch, and the dressing is creamy and satisfying without feeling too heavy. Diana came over yesterday and showed me how to make it. The recipe is originally from the book “Vegan lecker lecker!” by Marc Pierschel, and according to Diana, it was the first vegan cookbook published in Germany.
Ingredients for the salad:
- 1 zucchini
- 1 kohlrabi
- 3 carrots
- 125g arugula (originally 100g)
- 50g cashews, soaked overnight (if not soaked, add 2 tsp. water)
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. lemon juice (plus the zest of the lemon if organic)
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 small handful fresh basil
- 1 tsp. salt
Raw “parmesan” topping ingredients:
- 4 tsp. pine nuts
- 4 tsp. yeast flakes (I used nutritional yeast)
- pinch of salt
- For the salad: Wash the vegetables and julienne them. You may want to peel the kohlrabi.
- For the sauce: Add the soaked cashews to a tall, narrow container, then add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, the basil, and salt. Use a stick blender to puree everything to a smooth paste. (If you’re using a regular blender instead of a stick blender, then add the cashews last rather than first.)
- For the topping: Grind the pine nuts and salt in a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. Mix in the yeast flakes.
- Assemble the salad: Put a handful of arugula in each bowl, then two large scoops of the julienned vegetables. Drizzle the sauce over the top, and sprinkle on some of the “raw parmesan” topping.
The recipe turned out just as I remembered it, and again, I quite liked it. I especially liked the kohlrabi, which for some reason I almost never buy. The only issue with the recipe was the ratio of the three components. We finished the arugula but still had lots of veggies and dressing left, and then when the dressing was gone there were still several cups of julienned veggies and some of the topping left. We did use particularly large zucchini and carrots, and Derek used a lot of dressing on his salad, so maybe that was part of the issue. Still, next time I’d buy more arugula, at least 125g, but maybe 150g. And I’d either use smaller zucchini and carrots or make more dressing. Or just be prepared to do something with the leftover veggies. I ate mine with lemon juice, the remaining raw “parmesan”, and an avocado—it made a very tasty snack the next day.
Derek wasn’t so excited about the recipe. He said “it’s just salad.” And he thought the tomato/basil dressing was kind of odd.