Monday, September 17, 2012

Faux Papaya Salad

Papaya inspired salad by Ayala Moriel
Papaya inspired salad, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
Fresh and fragrant green papaya are unmatched by anything, really. However, they are not easy to find in Vancouver (when I tried, the middle was ripe and soft, and the outside rather flavourless. It made for a very difficult juliening job!).

So, in lieu of papayas, you may use pale julienned carrots with very satisfying results. My version also is a vegetarian one, as I’m not all that excited about fish sauce and shrimps… Feel free to use them if that’s what you’re after.

4 small leaves of butter lettuce
2 yellow carrots (orange ones will do as well, but they will look less like green papaya), julienned into thin long strips - or 1 small green papaya if you can find it
Handful of bean sprouts (optional)
12 green string beans, cut into halves and then also lengthwise “French” style
2-3 Tbs skinned unsalted roasted Spanish peanuts (Note: If they are salted on their skin you’ll be fine, but if you’re buying them skinned, make sure they are unsalted)
1-2 tsp crushed chile (or 1 fresh red chile, chopped finley)
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn by hand

For the dressing:
Juice from ½ lime
1 Tsb apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbs neutral vegetable oil (i.e.: almond or grapeseed oil)
1 tsp agave syrup
Sea salt to taste

To assemble the salad, line a shallow bowl with butter lettuce leaves.
Toss together the other vegetables and herbs and seasoning, and add the dressing ingredients (you don’t need to make “vinnigraite” on the side – simply toss all the ingredients together).

Place the salad on the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with the roasted peanuts, and serve immediately.

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