Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tomato & Black Eyed Pea Thai-inspired Salad

Tomato & Black-eyed Pea Salad
If you are looking for ways to use your summer tomatoes, and want to try an interesting salad dressing, you might enjoy this combination. I used a Thai-inspired base dressing normally used in Yum Nuea, but then mixed with basil (in Yum Nuea, you add cilantro, ginger and serrano peppers).

The resulting salad was a satisfying meal unto itself (the black-eyed peas were critical to making it hearty), and an interesting new flavor which we enjoyed.

The following amounts served two

Dressing
2 tbsp cup lime juice
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Several drops of dark soy sauce

1/2 cup of black eyed peas
2 ripe medium or large tomatoes
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper
Red onion
Handful of basil leaves
Several leaves of lemon basil

Cooking the black-eyed peas: I put the black-eyed peas in a bowl to soak in the morning before heading to work, but that is optional. In any case, put the beans in a pot of cold water about 1 inch over the top, bring to a boil, then lower to a gentle simmer and cook until tender (about 25-30 minutes if soaked, and another 15 minutes or so if not). I made a larger batch, but used roughly half a cup in the salad.

In a small bowl, combine the dressing together, finalizing amounts to taste (start with minimal soy sauce and add drops to taste -- like you experience with salt, if you go overboard with soy sauce by accident, you are better off starting over than trying to fix).

Cut a few thin slices of red onion, break into smaller pieces, and soak in the bowl with the dressing while you finish the rest of the salad.

Slice your large tomatoes into thin crescents. Halve your cherry tomatoes. Remove the stem, seeds and inside of the red pepper and chop into bite-sized pieces. Do a loose chiffonade of the basil leaves, i.e. cut into very thin strips (note: I didn't bother rolling up the leaves before cutting, which is a common chiffonade approach).

Combine everything into a bowl, toss, let sit for just a few minutes, toss again and serve. We paired this with a nice rose.

2 comments:

Ann said...

Lovely-looking (and healthy!) summer salad!

Olga said...

so pretty and refreshing! sounds like a great lunch idea.