Thursday, September 16, 2010

Edamame and Mango Salad

I got the morning off today. First on the itinerary was sleeping in as much as possible considering my bedroom window overlooks a major street (I just can't NOT have the windows open in the fall) and morning traffic is one thing I can't sleep through. I realized that this doesn't mean you actually have to get out of bed, and since I still can't run on my bum ankle I enjoyed the rainy, fall weather with a book until my stomach lured me down to the kitchen. Now, post-breakfast, I figured this would be a good opportunity to catch up on some blogging. Last time I referred to a bunch of cooking I had done over the labor day weekend, which included this asian-infused salad.
I love making salads like this because of their adaptability to whatever you have in your vegetable bin or whatever flavors you're craving at the moment. This salad, in all honesty, came to fruition because of bit of leftover jalapeño pepper I had in the fridge, which made me crave a spicy-sweet combo, which caused a special 1-ingredient stop at the grocery store for mangos which went well with the edamame I've had lying in wait in my freezer for just such an opportunity as this. About 40 minutes later I had dinner. And lunch for almost a week.

If this combo sounds good to you, I've typed up the recipe below. Take into consideration how you're going to use it, though. I'm a big fan of getting in some green and leafy veggies whenever I can, so I liked this over some spinach or dark romaine leaves and because of this I went heavy on both the flavor and volume of dressing I made. If you're planning on eating it on it's own, or as a topper to toasted slices of chewy french bread then I would dial it back. All in the quantities I listed below are a starting point. Taste, add and mix as you go. The grain you use is also equally variable. I came across a mix of grains that Kashi puts out in the grocery store the week prior so I gave that a spin. Quinoa, barley or simply some brown rice is equally interchangeable.

Also, this salad tastes great warm, but the leftovers are just as tasty served cold. If you want to prepare it ahead of time to eat later I would add a bit of lime juice into the mix, otherwise the mango juices begin to brown the whole salad - and who wants to eat a brown salad?
Edamame and Mango Salad
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups cooked grains
10 oz shelled edamame
1 mango, diced
2 small bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced very small
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 bunch green onion, chopped

salt to taste

Cook grains in a large pot per their individual cooking times. Usually though, this gives you 30-50 minutes to chop everything else.
While grains are cooking away, thaw frozen edamame in some hot (but not boiling water). I do this by putting the edamame in a small colander, then putting the colander in a large bowl of hot water and letting them soak. You'll want to change out the water once in the beginning because it will cool down quickly with the frozen beans.
Next, add dressing ingredients into a small, airtight container and shake until well mixed.
Finally, combine grains, edamame, mango and veggies (except cilantro) into a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss until everything is thoroughly coated. Taste and add a little of this or a lot of that until it's just right.
Serve over a bed of greens, toasted bread or solo, garnished with some fresh cilantro.

As you can see, I also added some orange zest as an after thought. If I had any on hand, I think freshly grated ginger would have been a good addition, too.

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