Cool Vegetables

I was going to include a Watercress and fresh Water Chestnut salad here, but a number of things stopped me-not the least of which, price. Water Chestnuts, in particular, are expensive, hard to find-and the quality is often very iffy. I have different issues with watercress.

This weekend I substituted romain lettuce-which is a fine, briefly cooked vegetable, and gala apple-crisp and sweet, not wholly different from water chestnuts. My guests and I liked the results. Hope you will, too.

Jerry Weinberg

Cool Vegetables

Print Rate
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Five Spice, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 plates



  • 1 head romaine (cleaned, trimmed, and sliced into 1” strips)
  • apples (gala or other sweet – pared, cored, 1/16" cubes)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 16 tomatoes (sweet, grape)
  • ½ cup carrot (trimmed and shredded)
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  • 2 teaspoons light soy
  • Tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (light – or honey)


  • Place lime juice, tomatoes, carrots, and sesame seeds in jar, cover, shake well, refrigerate.
  • Stir soy, oil, salt, pepper,and syrup/honey in a jar or bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Drop in sliced romaine. Push down with stirrer or Chinese strainer—15-20 seconds, till limp. Remove with strainer, run under cold water and dry with paper towels. Chop fine.
  • On attractive platter (black, if you have one), arrange the romaine in a circle.
  • Spoon apples in an inner circle.
  • Spoon apples in an inner circle.
  • Cover with wax paper, cover that with plastic wrap, refrigerate up to four hours.
  • When serving, uncover platter. Shake the jar with the last five ingredients and pour over the carrots and romaine. Decorate with carrot shreds and optional sesame seeds, and serve.

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