I found a recipe in one of my online newsletters that looked refreshing, and so I bookmarked the recipe, When I decided to make the salad last week though, I found that a few things weren’t practical. This turned into what my Mom called a “beef and pea pods” recipe… she was supposed to have pea pods but couldn’t find any, and it was supposed to be hoisin sauce but she knew my Dad wouldn’t like that… well, you get the picture. I tweaked the recipe and it turned out great!! So, here is my version.
1/4 cup / 125 mL fish sauce
2 tbsp / 30 g agave syrup or honey
3 tbsp / 45 mL EACH lime and lemon juice
1 grapefruit AND 1 orange, peeled and cut into pieces (* blood oranges, or Cara Cara oranges are delicious if you can find them)
1 tsp / 5 g Aleppo pepper (other dried chiles will work, but this one has a lovely complex flavour and it’s not too hot)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 head leaf lettuce, chopped
1/3 cup / 80 g peanuts, chopped and toasted
20 mint leaves, chopped
OPTIONAL : leftover beef, pork or chicken – this can make the dish a light dinner instead of an appetizer course!
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup couscous, quinoa or rice noodles – this will make a more substantial salad if you wish
If you are using meat, chop it into bite size pieces. Prepare other ingredients by chopping and setting aside. Toast peanuts for about 3-5 minutes in a 400F / 190C oven. If you are using couscous, quinoa or noodles, cook as directed.
In a large bowl, whisk together fish sauce, agave syrup, juices, chiles, and garlic. Add other salad ingredients and stir gently.
Plate salad with couscous, quinoa or noodles first and salad on top. Spoon extra dressing over the top if you wish, or serve on the side.
If you are wine fan, this is a perfect recipe for a Gewurztraminer.