I have to say I am ready for spring. Don't get me wrong. I love the moody, transitional weather we are experiencing in coastal LA - particularly in the morning. Bundled up with my dogs on leash, we venture out bright and early barely seeing through the fog, pushing through a slight mist in the air, and listening to the beautiful hum of fog horns. And then mid morning the sun comes out and we cross our fingers that the 70 degree mark will be met or exceeded. It's all lovely but I am referring to real spring weather - warm, dry, sunny. The kind of weather that makes you want to go out on the patio with a glass of wine and a refreshing salad. So I figured, even if spring weather is not quite here yet, let's channel it by preparing that refreshing, warm weather salad. How about one with crunchy cucumbers and a touch of red bell pepper, one with lots of sweet mango and a touch of fiery serrano pepper, one with a classic Asian dressing of coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and ginger? Oh and mint! This light salad truly dazzles the senses. Two observations: 1) if you do not like spicy food, you can still enjoy this salad with a mild pepper or none at all; and 2) the quantity of dressing is generous enough to accommodate the addition of tofu or shrimp to convert this recipe into a protein-rich entree. With just one bite you'll realize spring is right around the corner.
Indonesian Cucumber And Mango Salad
1 large hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 serrano pepper, diced
1 T diced red bell pepper
3 T fresh sliced mint leaves
1 t + 1/2 t minced fresh ginger
1/3 c coconut milk
2 t Thai fish sauce
1 T fresh lime juice
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t chili oil
Mix all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for 1-6 hours to marry the flavors.
Serves 4 as a starter.
Source: Dinner At The Authentic Cafe