Cool greens with hot Asian dressing
This salad is a melange of flavors, colurs and textures. It is impossible to make a small bowl of this salad, but you will be glad with the large platter when you go back for seconds (and thirds).
This super simple salad has a lot going on, lots of greens, herbs, soft and creamy avocado, micro greens and of course the absolutely amazing sweet-sour-spicy dressing that brings the salad together. There are lots of textures from the greens, and lots of earthy flavors that are brightened by the dressing. My guests loved this salad and almost all of them went back for second helpings and in a couple of cases thirds, yes it is that delicious.
I also wanted to give a shoutout to my new friends at Stabaka Farms for their exceptional micro greens and lettuces. Their produce defines freshness, from their farm to your table in less than 4 hours. This science driven farm is does not compromise on flavor, they have sourced and grown non-GMO seeds with the best flavors in a completely pesticide-free natural environment. Each leaf pops with natural flavors, spicy mustard and radish micro greens, or sweet beet and red cabbage micro greens, you will definitely enjoy the flavors.
This recipe is from, Diana Henry, one of my favorite chefs. I have every one of her cookbooks, they are my go to books in my collection for every occasion, from fun salads, like this one, to more elaborate cooking from around the world. Everyone should have all her cookbooks.
For more recipes from this book click here.
Photo credit Nisha Bilgrami
For the dressing:
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, superfine sugar preferred
Juice of 2-3 limes
A few drops fish sauce
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2-3 Thai red chilies, finely minced, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
Salt, to taste
For the Salad:
1/2 cup edamame beans, blanched
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, or any crunchy vegetables like Brussel's sprouts or other, sliced
1/4 cup daikon or regular radishes, finely chopped into matchsticks
1 cucumber, sliced thin or cubed
3-4 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 cup lettuce, shredded by hand
1/2 cup herbs, cilantro, basil, or a mix
3 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Juice of 1 lime
Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing and stir well to dissolve the sugar. It may take some time, so set aside and stir every minute or so. Once the sugars have melted, taste and adjust chili, sweet and sourness. The dressing should be bold and tangy on the palate, a perfect blend of sweet, sour and spice.
Assemble the salad in any way you like. It can be a jumble of all ingredients, or carefully and artfully laid out. Chill till needed.
To serve, cut the avocado and lay on the salad. Squeeze some lime juice on it so the avocado does not discolor. Serve with the dressing on the side so folks can take as much dressing as they would like. I do not like to toss this salad with the dressing as it is very astringent and tends to wilt the leaves, especially the microgreens very fast.