So have this theory that if you start with good fresh ingredients, it’s difficult to make a bad salad. It’s easy, however, to make a boring salad and that just won’t do. This dish has a lot of “Ta Da!” but is relatively easy to put together.
Like most salads, it’s also quite versatile. Basically these are the ingredients I had on hand and thought would taste good together. If you don’t have or like all the ingredients, just substitute something similar.
On this day, I started with fresh corn from the farmer’s market and ripe tomatoes from my garden (I know, very Martha of me). As I found myself perusing my pantry and considering a typical tomato and corn salad, it occurred to me that I’ve been down that path too many times before. Time to try something different.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 egg white
- 6 small fresh corn cobs
- 1 large carrot
- 4 large fresh tomatoes, or equivalent
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed (see below)
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- splash of soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, whip 1/2 an egg white until frothy.
Mix the spice mixture into the egg white.
Add the cashews to the bowl and coat them in the egg and spice mixture then spread the spice-covered cashews on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Cook at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes then toss them around, redistribute and continue to cook at 250 degrees F for 10 more minutes. When they come out, allow them to cool slightly then chop roughly.
NUTTY TIP: I store my raw nuts in a ziplock bag in the freezer. They keep for months and don’t need to be defrosted before toasting.
Place the corn in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. When the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and let the corn sit in the pot for 6-7 more minutes. It is a cardinal sin to overcook fresh summer corn, so no more than 7 minutes.
Remove the corn and immediately stop the cooking by rinsing it in very cold water or immersing it in a large bowl filled with ice water.
Cut the corn off the cob. I find the easiest way to do this is directly into the salad bowl.
Then remove the “strings” from the sugar snap peas and chop roughly.
Grate your carrot using the large grater holes.
Chop up the tomatoes, cilantro and scallions and add them with the rest of the fresh ingredients to the salad bowl.
I love all those colors together like a painter’s palette!
Time to make the dressing. Combine 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil, 5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar and a splash of soy sauce. If you are missing some of these ingredients, just wing it. You are looking for a balance of salt, sweet and tang. Whisk that all up and add salt and pepper to taste.
Right before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss. Then top with the spicy cashews and serve. Let the devouring begin!