Salad and greens are the mainstay of my daily diet. What’s phenomenal about greens are their versatility. The variety of flavors that you can grow in a window box or sprouter is equally impressive. So, while some might think “boring” when they think salad, I think of the possibilities and the freedom!
I made this for lunch today and used about ¼ of the beautiful green papaya that I bought at Lanni Market. To feed more than one person just double or triple the recipe. It’s quick, easy and full of flavor! I love Som Tum, the Thai Green papaya Salad and while it’s not difficult to make according to traditional recipes which include fresh chilies, palm sugar and fish sauce, I love my speedy vegan version that uses local ingredients from my pantry. Jicama can be substituted for the green papaya if you can’t get your hands on one. And if you really want to keep it local, try using a produce item from your area that is crisp and mild. I’ve used local apples and slightly under-ripe green melon with nice results.
The kelp granules give that hint of the sea flavor that fish sauce imparts in traditional Som Tum recipes. Not critical, but it is nice and adds a sprinkle of nutrients and iodine as well.
Quick Green Papaya Salad
1 cup green papaya, thinly sliced (as thin as you can make it!)
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 medium sized tomato, about ¾ cup sliced
1 small knob ginger, grated, about 1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp braggs aminos
½ tsp kelp granules (optional)
¼ – ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
Put all ingredients into a bowl and use your fingers to combine everything well. Eat!
Our dinner salad was an experiment in balance. The garlic ginger dressing was sweet and spicy. The romaine was sweet and crisp; blueberries, tart; tomatoes, creamy; cucumber, crunchy and green; plums, lusciously sweet and creamy. Next time, I would add a bitter green to the bowl… a handful of arugula or watercress would be perfect!
Ginger Garlic Dressing
(yields 1 + cup of dressing)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup mirin
1/4 cup Bragg’s aminos or soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice syrup (or 1 Tbsp honey if you prefer)
1/4 cup water, optional
Mash the garlic using your mortar and pestle or mince very finely. Combine with remaining ingredients and thin with water if you like.
(makes 4 entree servings, 2 adult and 2 kid portions)
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1 cup kale, stemmed and chopped (about 4 leaves)
handful of arugula, watercress or dandelion greens
1 cup blueberries
2-3 local tomatoes, quartered
1 local cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced
4 local black plums, quartered
Make sure your hands are washed before you start prepping your salad, because you’re going to use them!
Cut the greens into bite sized pieces to make them more appealing and easier for kids to eat. Toss all ingredients into a large bowl. Ladle 1/3- 1/2 cup of dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly with your hands. Rubbing the dressing into the greens will coat them beautifully. Pay particular attention to the kale bits… rubbing them tenderizes them a little… it’s magical!