Two Little Salads
Tonight, we had my favorite kind of summer dinner. An assortment of salads. Well, actually, my favorite kind of summer dinner is just an assortment of salads. Admittedly, we did have a few leftover pork ribs from Saturday night’s dinner at Firebox to go with our salads tonight.
For one, we had a Caprese Salad: some sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella cheese and slivered basil. As the fresh local tomatoes start to appear, we will start to have this little salad a few times a week. This summer, at Trader Joe’s, I discovered fresh mozzarella that comes in cute little cherry-sized balls. They’re called ciliegine. This salad has no real recipe; it’s more like a guideline.
First, I cut the tomatoes into wedges and arrange them so they look pretty on the plate. I count them so I know how many slices there are. Then, I quarter one little ball for each 4 slices of tomatoes. I like there to be tomato and cheese in every bite. The plate gets sprinkled with fresh herbs. Tonight, I thinly slivered some basil leaves that are just getting big enough to pluck off the plants in the garden. Other times, I chop different fresh herbs, like oregano or savory. Finally, I drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It only takes about 5 minutes to put together.
The other salad was a delicious Mango Slaw recently posted by Smitten Kitchen. We’re big fans of Champagne or Ataulfo mangoes and currently have a big stash in the fruit drawer. I made half the recipe (one mango’s worth) using peanuts instead of cashews (I was out) and throwing in some chopped cilantro for good measure. The salad was very tasty with the contrast of the crispy cabbage, the sweet mango, and the spicy, tart dressing. Honestly, it was better the first night, not as good as leftovers. I’m glad I made only half the recipe for the two of us, though I would definitely make a bigger batch if we had guests.
Adapted from this recipe on Smitten Kitchen
1 mango, peeled, pitted and julienned
½ lb Napa cabbage (about half a head), sliced very thinly
½ red pepper, julienned
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1½ Tbsp canola oil
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp Sriracha chila paste
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup roasted (unsalted) peanuts, coarsely chopped
To make the dressing, whisk lime juice, rice vinegar, oil, Sriracha, and salt in a small bowl. In a very large bowl, toss mangoes, cabbage, red pepper and onion together. Add the dressing, chopped herbs, and peanuts and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.