Snappy veggies are POW! on a plate.

Salads / July 17, 2013

It was the first sunny day we’d had in over three weeks, and even with the sweltering humidity, I was glad to see the sun bathe us all in a little golden light. I reached for a dark red ripe cherry as I watched the afternoon shadows burn hot and moist into the sidewalk, and as the fruit burst in my mouth I knew I wanted to get to work making it shine in a new creation. Soon it was the star of the show, becoming quite literally POW on a plate.

It was girlfriend night and the three of us agreed that meeting for dinner, even if it was over take-out pizza, was the perfect way to end a sunny Tuesday. There’s nothing real special about Tuesday’s; they’re not hump day, they’re far from the weekend, and they’re not imprinted with the overwhelming confusion of Monday, so why not meet and laugh a little over a good meal?

To start with, I knew I wanted to add a little heat to the mix, so out came the jalapenos and some white onion. My mint beckoned next for flavor and a garnish. The cherries always look good against something green and crisp so I pulled out the celery and a nice firm cucumber.  You’ll find that each of these flavors meld very well and each bite is refreshing and acidic with a hint of sweetness. I was pleased that nothing overpowered any other flavor and it might benefit from a pinch of ground coriander or a sprinkling of sesame seeds. In any event. This was a winner.


Crisp Vegetable Salad with Cherries, Mint and a Jalapeno Vinaigrette

2 C fresh, dark red cherries pitted and quartered
4 stalks celery cut into large angled slices
2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly
1 jalapeno chopped small (just the green, not the seeds or pith)
Onion to taste, I used about 6 very, very thin slices of white onion and kept the pieces long.
1 T fresh mint cut finely
2 to 3 T rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 T sunflower oil or other light oil
2 T sugar
Salt and Pepper

Assemble salad items in a bowl, mix dressing separately and whisk to combine. Toss with salad and chill for an hour. Serve with mint sprig as a garnish. Can add more jalapeno if you like it hotter.



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