Thursday, August 14, 2008

Perk Up a Salad with Sesame Oil

Mixed greens and shredded carrots drizzled
with a sumptuous and tangy sesame oil dressing
...Oh, so tasty...
"I hear Socrates saying that the best seasoning for food is hunger; for drink, thirst. "
Latin version: "Socratem audio dicentem, cibi condimentum essa famem, potionis sitim."
I'll have to agree with the above saying, I mean, who, honestly and truly, enjoys food when they're not hungry? When I'm hungry, almost everything tastes good to me.

This wonderful salad seasoned with nothing but a little bit of lime, salt and oil is incredibly savory and aromatic. The key ingredient that releases this salad's wonderful fragrance is sesame oil. Sesame oil has a strong nutty flavour and scent and is used in very little amount in cooking. In addition to being a flavour enhancer, it is known to be very nutritious and healthy for our bodies. I can write more about it in a separate post.

Sometimes seasoning a salad can be tricky. Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. To give this salad a little "lift", only a few drops of dark sesame oil is needed for that extra tang. This dish is extremely flavourful, and yet it remains light and crisp. A great appetizer before the pièce de résistance....

Recipe "au pif":
400 gr (14 oz) of any lettuce of your choice (Boston, Butterhead cultivar, Romaine, Frisée..etc.)
1 cup finely shredded carrots (julienne - fine strips)
1/4 lightly toasted sesame seeds (toasted in pan)
4 tbsp vegetable oil (corn or even canola)
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil (found in any grocery store)
1 pinch coarse salt
some black ground pepper to taste

In a small jar, add vegetable oil, lime juice, sesame oil and coarse salt. Tightly close the lid on and shake well until dressing is well mixed.

In a large salad bowl, toss in washed lettuce and the shredded carrots. Drizzle the sesame oil dressing and toss well.

Sprinkle some of the toasted sesame seeds and add pepper to taste.

* (Optional) you can also add a touch (1/4 tsp) of light soya sauce in the dressing for added flavour.

Serves 4 people.

No comments: