Asian-inspired dressing packs great flavour punch!
I love salads, especially during barbeque season. I feel like the crunchy, fresh flavour of a salad complements whatever cut of meat, fish or seafood we’ve chosen to prepare on the grill. Having said that, every once in a while I find myself suffering from ‘leaf fatigue’, meaning that for a few days, I just can’t abide chowing down on lettuce, spinach, kale or arugula – to name a few common salad leaves – usually due to a self-inflicted salad overdose. This crunchy concoction, however, will never induce any kind of fatigue for my taste buds. It’s absolutely bursting with bright, crisp flavours and looks so gosh-darned pretty too. Look for pea shoots at your favourite grocery store – they’ve gone mainstream!
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sweet rice wine (mirin)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly grated gingerroot
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) canola oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sesame oil
- Pinch each salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) tamari OR 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of soya sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water
- 3 – 4 carrots, spiralized, grated or julienned (about 3 cups/750 mL once cut)
- 2 cups (500 mL) (2 oz / 55 g) fresh pea shoots
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- Make the dressing by combining rice vinegar, mirin, ginger root, oils and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover jar and shake well to blend then refrigerate until ready to assemble and serve salad (dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance).
- Toast the pumpkin seeds by heating a small frying pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, tossing pan often to flip seeds and prevent them from burning. When they start to turn brown (3 – 5 minutes), add the tamari or soya sauce + water mixture to the pan and stir to blend. Cook 1 – 2 minutes more until liquid has completely evaporated. Transfer pumpkin seeds to a small plate and use two forks to spread out in a single layer. Let cool. Seeds can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance.
- In a serving bowl, toss together the carrot strips, pea shoots and green onions. Drizzle with dressing and toss again. Sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds over top and serve immediately.
Serves 3 – 4 as a side dish.