Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Meatless And Heatless, Raw Foods Are Cool..Literally! An Easy Summer Salad.
We've been having a cool, damp Spring here in Sonoma and even though it's not warm or dry enough to put up the dining tent outside..in my head it's already Summer.
My mind has turned to salads. Indian salads. Cooling salads that require no cooking. These salads were made for warmer days than we are having right now, but they taste so good I couldn't resist waiting for Monday and made another one for lunch this afternoon.
One of my birthday presents from Paula Wolfert was a small paperback cookbook that she'd had for many years. It was by Varsha Dandekar and was titled simply Salads of India.
The book is a mix of a number of things, raitas, fruit salads, dal salads and of course my new favorite, the raw vegetable salad or kachumber.
These are fast and easy to make and absolute naturals for all Summer cooking and cook-out needs.
The salad I fixed today involves cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. I used Roma but as the season progresses here in Sonoma I'm looking forward to trying this with all sorts of different heirloom varieties.
The other thing I love about this dish, it is low calorie and low fat. Each ingredient is kept apart in separate bowls and then mixed together right at table just before serving. It makes a great show.
Here's how it goes.
Peel and finely chop :
3 cups of cucumber
Place the cucumber in a separate bowl and set aside
2 cups of tomato
Place the tomato in a separate bowl.
Cover and refrigerate the cucumber and tomato until it is time to serve the salad.
1 Tbs of serrano chili.
Mix it together with :
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar
1 Tbs of lemon juice.
How To Mix the Salad.
In a salad bowl combine:
The cucumber and the chopped tomato.
Next toss in:
2/3 cup of peanut powder Peanut powder can be found in Indian and Asian Markets. You can make your own as I did by shelling, peeling and roasting raw peanuts and grinding them up to a powder or grind them to powder first and roast them in a cast iron pan after.
1/2 cup of grated unsweetened fresh or frozen raw coconut. Dry coconut can also be "reconstituted" by adding a tiny bit of water, which will give it more or less the texture of fresh.
Next add the chili , lemon juice, sugar and salt mixture.
3 Tbs of finely chopped fresh cilantro.
This is going to be on my table for all the Summer get-togethers we have and it's definitely a take along dish. Just bring your chopped ingredients in baggies or small containers and mix 'em up on site.
Easy, delicious, fast and healthy...this meatless, heatless thing could catch on around here.