Last Sunday I did an open house at Teena’s Pride farm. I just love, love, love basking in all the glory of such fantastically fresh and delicious produce! It is so easy to make it taste good…it already does! Much of the produce that we buy at the grocery stores are more than a week old (if not older, especially if it is from another country) and losing flavor and nutrients by the minute. This is a fantastic reason to get on board with a CSA (community supported agriculture) or to regularly visit your local farmers market.
This salad was the inspiration that came from the incredible bounty at Teena’s, easy, light, and uber fresh…perfect for the new year. You could also just blend all of the ingredients and make an Asian style gazpacho…yum!
Tomato Cucumber Salad with Sesame Oil & Lemongrass
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 small Persian cucumbers, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
(or 1/2 English cuke cut into half moons)
1 teaspoon salt
2+ Tablespoons Umeboshi plum vinegar*
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1+ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey (local preferred)
2 teaspoons very finely chopped lemongrass (optional)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1/4 packed fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
Place the tomatoes and cucumbers in a salad bowl and add the 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss gently and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes lightly tossing on occasion. This will allow the natural liquid to seep out (allowing for maximum flavor from dressing).
After this time has passed; drain off the escaped liquid and reserve for another use.
Mix the vinegar, oils and honey, lemongrass and ginger together in a small bowl and pour over the veggies. Add the remaining ingredients, season lightly with salt and pepper (the umeboshi vinegar is quite salty so keep this in mind) and toss gently but completely. Taste and adjust oil and vinegar if needed. Serve immediately!
Tips & Notes~
*The Ume vinegar is a vegan option for fish sauce, although it has more tang as fish sauce is mostly salty. Use this is Asian dishes as a vegan alternative. It is also amazing in partnership with other vinegars in all sorts of recipes. I just LOVE this stuff!