I’m caring for a family member with a urinary tract infection. We’ve been using herbs, homeopathic remedies, and healing foods rather than resorting to antibiotics and noticing an improvement after 24 hours of active treatment. Along with lots of water, I’ve been encouraging my patient to eat parsley and celery as their natural diuretic effect helps flush bacteria out of the urinary tract. Probiotics boost the immune system, so I have been offering probiotic-rich lactofermented veggies. Raw garlic, with its strong antibiotic properties always does a body good.
I wanted to come up with a light, appetizing meal that would bring all those healing foods together. I happened to pick up the February/March issue of Fine Cooking (which is chockful of great recipes, including a piece on quick pickles by Eugenia Bone, author of my favorite canning book of 2009, Well Preserved) and immediately noticed a salad featuring celery, fennel, parsley, and anchovies with a lemon-Parmigiano vinaigrette. I loved the idea and came up with this variation (ignoring the Parmigiano, as my patient is avoiding dairy while fighting this infection). When people taste preserved lemons and lactofermented vegetables for the first time in my classes they love them, but are unsure about how to use them in meals. Here’s a great example.
1 medium fennel bulb, shaved thinly (a mandoline helps with this)
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal (you can do that on a mandoline, too)
1 tin of sardines, mashed
2 tablespoon minced preserved lemon peel
4 tablespoons lactofermented celery root (I’ll post about how to make those soon)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lactofermented mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
Combine fennel, celery, sardines, preserved lemon, and celery root in a medium bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mayonnaise and garlic. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.