Rain pounded my Williamsburg apartment window. The weather was bleak, the concrete jungle of Brooklyn made it worse. Resting my eyes, the colors of Bali illuminated the back of my eye lids. I then became hungry...I was hungry for color, for flavor, and the freshness found only after a heavy rain. I decided to brave the storm and venture to the Union Square Greenmarket.
This time of year provides us with beautiful vegetables. This salad uses the spring season's bounty to create a satisfying and colorful salad that will transplant you to the beaches of South East Asia.
Shaved Seasonal Vegetables with Mango and Tamarind Lime Dressing
Multi Colored Carrots - 1 each
Candy Cane Beets - 1 each
Watermelon Radish - 1 each
Daikon Radish - 1 each
Mango - 1 each
Scallion - 1 each
Walnuts - 1 small handful
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Lime Juice - 1/2 tbsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Tamarind Paste - 1 tbsp
Water - 1 tbsp
Lime Juice - 1/2 tbsp
Coconut Sugar - 1 tbsp
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt and Pepper - to taste
As always, you must wash and peel the produce. Once we have taken care of the fun part, we get to shave these beautiful vegetables on a mandolin. The goal is to shave them as thin as possible and then submerge them in ice water so they curl into beautiful and unique shapes. This will add visual texture and wonderful mouth feel to the dish. Next, crush up the walnuts and slice the green part of the scallion thinly on a bias. Once your vegetables are shaved and soaking and the garnish is ready we can begin to make the dressing.
To make the tamarind dressing I suggest that you throw all of the ingredients into a small mason jar and shake! Simple.
*Note - sometimes you can only find a block of tamarind. To prepare this, you must break the block apart and soak it in 1 3/4 c. water for 20 min. Once it is soft, get your hands in there and mix away. You will notice that there are a bunch of shells - after it is well mixed, simply pass the paste through a strainer and store.
The Finish - Dry off all of vegetables and place them in a mixing bowl. We want to season the vegetables but not cover them with the brown tamarind dressing...so simply dress them and the sliced mango with olive oil, salt, pepper and lime juice. Mix it up with your hand and give it a taste. The veg should taste great as is.
Now, gently lay the salad in a line across a chilled plate. Drizzle some tamarind dressing over the top and sprinkle some crushed walnuts for texture. To top it all off add the little slices of scallion.
Serve to someone you love!