Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Cashew Salad with Tamarind Dressing...
Over the past week and a half I’ve been kept very busy, and so I’m afraid I’ve been a bit neglectful here. There are always articles in the back of my mind begging to be written, always recipes I’m eager to test out, it just so happens that these past few days I haven’t had much time to sit down and do any of it. My birthday was on the 1st of the month, and my husband and I spent the week celebrating as we always do for one another’s birthdays. Movies, dinners out, hanging with friends, going for evening strolls and the like. On the actual day we went out of town for a bit of hiking and then spent the afternoon-early evening exploring Galena, IL, a lovely old historical town. Full of kooky shops and lovely scenic views perfect for photographing. Then of course there was work, and then we had a BBQ for the 4th and then yesterday we spent the entire day at the zoo. An activity I felt extremely conflicted about (more about this In a post to come) though I had a good time. On top of all of that craziness I’ve just recently purchased a stack of new (to me) cookbooks that I’m rather eager to try out, so suffice to say I haven’t been creating many recipes of my own over the past week and a half. Hopefully by the start of next week I’ll be back on track, but in the meantime I did make this delicious Cashew Salad with Tamarind Dressing from a book called Easy Vegan: Simple Recipes for Healthy Eating. So far everything I’ve made from this book has indeed been easy, and so far everything has been tasty as well.
What I really love about this salad is it’s mixture of flavors and textures. You have the wonderful roasted cashews paired with nappa cabbage, and carrot, crisp green onions, and cucumber and the pleasantly sweet mango. The recipe actually calls for dried mango but since I didn’t have any I just used fresh, and I think it worked out beautifully. The dressing was a wonderful blend of sweet and tangy with an interesting yet hard to describe accent from the Szechuan peppercorns. Some would argue that the Szechuan peppercorns aren’t necessary, that it’s just a fancy hard to find ingredient for no reason, but I’m willing to argue that these peppercorns do add a subtle layer to the salad that would be otherwise missed if one were to just use regular black peppercorns. Of course if you don’t care either way about pepper or could care less about subtlety you can always opt out or use regular pepper instead and I’m confident the salad would be wonderful anyway.
So definitely check out this book, for this as well as many other great recipes. I don’t normally buy, like, or even give a second glance to books with titles like "easy...." or "Simple...." that are compilations of recipes with no ‘known’ author, but this book surprised me. It’s definitely worth your pennies.