lime

Cambodian Pineapple Salad

by Anne Maxfield on April 13, 2017

Accidental Locavore Pineapple Salad IngredientsWho knew I’d fall in love with a pineapple salad?

Last week I conned my bestie into taking a Cambodian cooking class with me at Brooklyn Kitchen.

The Accidental Locavore did it mostly because I had no clue what Cambodian cooking was all about.

Had never eaten it.

Or cooked it.

It’s like its neighbors Vietnam, Thai, Laos, and uses the five tastes that are essential to that part of the world – sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.

One of our favorite dishes was this pineapple salad. It makes a big bowl of salad, depending on the size of your pineapple.

Cambodian Pineapple Salad

Salad:

  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, sliced thin
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (include stems)
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon sambal sauce (or Sriracha)

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small container with a (tight) lid. Shake to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon, fish sauce and chile to taste.

Pour over the salad, toss, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

I guess it’s time to change (or open my mind) about sweet ingredients with savory ones. This pineapple salad is a perfect example. It’s not something I would normally make, but it was my favorite dish of the class! The dressing would be good on all kinds of things, like chicken, fish or shrimp.

As a matter of fact, everyone at my table thought the whole thing would make a wonderful ceviche!

You can add or remove almost any ingredient. I’d add basil, especially Thai Holy Basil if I came across some. The salad we had in class had red and green peppers, I’m not a huge fan, so left them out of my version. Mango could easily replace the pineapple–you get the idea. Have fun!

I made it and brought it to a Slow Food Hudson Valley meeting and everyone loved it, guess this is a keeper.

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Lime Turmeric Salad Dressing

by Anne Maxfield on October 27, 2016

accidental-locavore-lime-turmeric-dressing-on-tomatoesLime, turmeric, ginger – got a couple of superfoods in this salad dressing, so it might actually be good for you.

And Zagat’s has named turmeric “this year’s trendiest superfood“.

The Accidental Locavore had some cilantro that wasn’t going to last much longer so I gave this recipe from Ottolenghi via bon appétit a shot.

Since everything ends up in a food processor, your chopping doesn’t need to be picture perfect.

Makes about ¾ cup.

Lime Turmeric Salad Dressing

  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest (from about ½ lime)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Put the turmeric, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime zest and juice and some of the jalapeno into the food processor, pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste and add salt and more jalapeno as needed. Serve over your favorite greens and enjoy!

accidental-locavore-lime-turmeric-salad-dressingMy verdict: Not love at first bite.  Tried the lime turmeric salad dressing on some heirloom tomatoes and then on some local lettuce and was, frankly, underwhelmed.

The original recipe called for a whole jalapeno and this time I was playing it safe. I ended up using about a quarter of a pretty big and spicy one, so unless you’re a heat freak (and/or you know how hot your chile is) err on the cautious side with this.

I think turmeric is an acquired taste. Good in small doses when it blends with other spices. It gave the dressing a slightly soapy taste and adding more lime juice didn’t perk it up. The original recipe called for fresh turmeric (4” piece peeled and chopped) and that might make a difference, but turmeric is hard to come by in my ‘hood. Are you able to find it by you? And have you ever used it?

 

 

 

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Roasted Cauliflower With Cumin

by Anne Maxfield on March 31, 2016

Accidental Locavore Roasted Cauliflowe With RibsMy friend Rob, had this recipe on his Facebook feed and the Accidental Locavore thought it looked great. It came from a new cookbook, Made in India, which I promptly added to my bookshelf (floor actually) and am glad I did (even though I always swear, no more cookbooks, it was justified by donating a bunch to the local library).  This serves 4, but you can scale it up or down depending on the size of your cauliflower.

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, about 1 ½ pounds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 5 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil (or parchment paper) and set aside.

Wash the cauliflower and pull off the leaves. Break the cauliflower into small florets and set aside. Steam the cauliflower in a pot of boiling water and blanch for a minute or microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Drain it really well and let it dry for about 5 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cumin seeds with the salt then add the chile powder and turmeric, followed by the oil. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can run the cumin and salt through a spice (coffee) grinder and put it in a small bowl with the chile powder, turmeric and oil. Mix well.

Accidental Locavore Cauliflower Before RoastingPut the cauliflower on the sheet pans in one layer and drizzle the oil over it. Toss to make sure the cauliflower is well coated. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, shaking the pans every 10 minutes to ensure it browns evenly. Put cooked cauliflower in a bowl or platter and squeeze the lemon over it. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict:  This is going to be has become one of my go-to dishes! Delicious, simple and easily tweaked. Since I was making Mexican spare ribs, I used lime instead of lemon to give it more of a Mexican flavor and they were perfect together. I steamed the cauliflower in the microwave—it’s faster and rather than getting oil in my mortar and pestle, ground and mixed the spices, then put them in a measuring cup and added the oil. That made it easier to drizzle over the cauliflower before roasting. Since I wrote this I’ve done broccoli the same way, this time with lemon (and I let the steamed broccoli marinate for a few hours in the oil) and it was great!Accidental Locavore Roasted Broccoli With Cumin

 

 

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Some Peas Like it Hot!

by Anne Maxfield on July 9, 2015

Accidental Locavore Peas and LimesBet you never thought about spicy peas! As you know, peas are not one of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite vegetables, just sort of a benign side dish.This recipes elevates them into the very interesting (and almost-worth-shelling) arena. You will need the zest of the lime, so do that before you juice it. Serves 4:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed
  • 1 trimmed stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon finely-grated lime zest

Accidental Locavore Spicy PeasWhisk the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

In a food processor, or mini chopper, pulse the jalapeño, lemongrass, and onion until finely chopped.

In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass mixture and stir-fry until soft, about 1 minute. Add the peas and the fish sauce mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime zest, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Spicy Peas and SteakMy verdict: The most time consuming part of this recipe is shelling the peas, so unless you have a bunch from your CSA (like I did), frozen is the way to go here. These were really good and might actually make a pea fan out of me! I had a bag full of chopped lemongrass that my mother had given me from her local Asian grocery, so I just used a couple of tablespoons of that. Because it was already chopped, I didn’t bother to use the food processor and just finely chopped the jalapeño and onion (one less appliance to wash). Because fish sauce varies from brand to brand, it’s better to go a little easy with it at the beginning and add more later, to taste. Ditto the jalapeño and lime juice. Some finely-chopped ginger would be nice with this and it would probably also work well with other veggies, like broccoli, or eggplant.

 

 

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