I remember when I first came to live in the United States. I was living with a wonderful American family on a farm in Idaho. A big, huge change. There were lots of fresh produce available of course, especially in the summer. That’s when I was introduced to salads. Don’t get me wrong, salads are eaten all over the world but usually not as a meal. It’s almost always eaten as part of a meal, like a side dish or even a palate cleanser or like a condiment. In North America the salad reigns as a meal. That was a strange thing for me. To eat an entire meal that was mostly raw. I remember telling my mom about having a salad for dinner and she exclaimed in dismay, “can’t those people cook?”. After I got over the initial shock, I grew to love salads. I love the textures, the freshness and the variety. They are never going to go over big in any part of South Asia as a meal but I’m winning people over, one at a time.
I had this just the other day. It was great and refreshing after a hard workout! Yes, Ma…I ate it as a meal.
Radish Cucumber and Mango Salad
4 fresh radishes, thinly sliced
1 English Cucumber, thinly sliced
1 Mango, cut into small bite sized pieces
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
Thinly slice cucumber, radishes and mangoes and place in a medium sized bowl. Add chopped cilantro. In a separate bowl zest the lime and then juice the whole lime. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk until a thick emulsion is created. Pour over salad and toss. Chill and serve.
It’s a long name, I know. But It’s a great salad!! I had a bunch of corn on the cob left over from a recent meal and I wanted to re-use them in something fresh. I roasted up the corn over the burners, (that’s the wonderful thing about having a gas stove) and added in some lentils for protein and Mangos for sweetness and it was delightful. Roasting the corn adds a slightly smokey flavor and the English cucumbers are crispy, crunchy and fresh….hmmmmm, it’s very tasty! I’m glad it turned out so good. With the weather getting warmer and summer just around the corner, I know I’ll be making this salad a LOT!!
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Corn, Mango and Lentil Salad with Red Chili & Ginger Honey Lime dressing
6 half ears or 3 whole ears of corn, roasted and taken off the ear
1/3 red onion, finely chopped
2 Mangoes, chopped
1 small English Cucumber
small bunch Cilantro (Coriander leaves)
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Red chili, seeded and minced
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tablespoon honey
In a medium size pan place the lentils with 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to boil, turn it down to a simmer and cover until they are tender (should take about 20-25 minutes). In the meantime, roast the corn over a burner by holding it with a pair of metal tongs. When roasted, cut the corn off the cob and place in a large bowl. Cut both Mangoes into small cubes and add to the roasted corn. Add the English cucumber and the red onion to the other vegetables as well. Drain Lentils and rinse with cold water before adding it to the vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped Cilantro and get the dressing ready.
Preparing the dressing:
Zest the lime in a small bowl using a microplane, also using the microplane grate the ginger to yield about 1 tsp. Juice the lime and add seeded and minced chili, salt, pepper and honey and start whisking as you add the olive oil in a drizzle, this will turn the mixture into a nice and almost creamy emulsion.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly. Serves 4. Great with Seared Yellowfin Tuna or by itself.