Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Best Salad Ever

Get ready. This may be the best salad ever. I made it once for a school event, and since then, people get mad at me if I show up at without it. "Which salad?" I ask them. Fingers begin pointing, "You know which salad!" Just last week for an end of year pot-luck, I was assigned "THE salad" and given no choice in the matter!

I'm sharing it because everyone should be able to enjoy a good salad. The crisp, colorful veggies make the salad beautiful. The parsley, mint, lime, and garlic create the most tantalizing scent. Your taste buds will be thrilled by the tastes and textures.

THE Salad (a.k.a. Somewhat Sudanese Salad)
Serves 4, or 2 salad-lovers

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 large apple (Granny Smiths work well, or anything crisp and juicy and tart)
  • 1 chayote
  • mini salad greens or lettuce torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 small onion (or better yet, a quarter or half of a large sweet Spanish/Vidalia onion)
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango (somewhat firm)
  • 1 red or green chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 bunch of parsley (I prefer flat leaf parsley.) Make sure it's well rinsed to remove sand!
  • 10-20 fresh mint leaves
  • 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • kosher salt/sea salt
Here's the deal: Except for the parsley and dressing, EVERYTHING is optional! I choose fresh vegetables and some fruits that look good, are crisp, smell good, and are colorful. Use whatever you like! I like to add some ingredients that are sweet, some tart, some spicy...

  1. Chop chili peppers finely.
  2. Dice everything else to about 1/2 inch square/cube.
  3. Cut your grape or cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters.
  4. Finely chop the leaves of the bunch of parsley and throw it in with the rest of the ingredients in large salad bowl.
  5. Chop and mash the the garlic with a little salt. Work it with your knife until it is a paste.
  6. You're making enough dressing to just coat your salad. Make the dressing by mixing the garlic paste and the lime juice together in a small bowl. If your limes aren't that juicy, you might need more. Add salt to taste, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon should make your mouth water like a salt and vinegar potato chip!
  7. Don't dress the salad with your dressing until you're ready to serve it because the salt will make all the pretty veggies wilt! OR leave the salt out of the dressing completely, dress the salad with the lime juice and garlic and add salt to taste just before you serve.
  8. Mix it all up... toss it well... Hands and a large bowl work best for this.

Some notes:
  • Add feta cheese, crumbled - YUM!
  • Throw in a handful dried cranberries or rasins.
  • Mix (natural) peanut butter into the lime and garlic mixture until it's a smooth, soupy paste. Add lime and peanut butter and salt until you like the taste. Dress your salad.
  • Be bold - add some red chili powder to the lime/peanut/salt/garlic mixture :)
  • Be Sudanese and pour a little sesame oil over the top to finish it off.

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