Just like any decent geek, I do enjoy the pleasures of home delivery; but during these incredibly hot summer days in Berlin home-made is the safest bet.
My all-times-favourite cold dish for summer days is this sweet, hot, and sour baby spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, roasted cashews and melon!
The benefits of this salad are, nutrition-wise:
+ Baby spinach is zesty and tender, brings to the table Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, folate, iron and calcium.
+ Tomatoes – recent research shows that they can protect us from sunburn due to their carotene called lycopene + the antioxidant Vitamines A + C.
+ Cashews are a source of natural fats & oils, as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory trace minerals (copper, iron, zinc).
+ Melon (cantaloupe) is rich in potassium, folate and Vitamin A. Is this a vitamin A salad?
+ Hot chili sauce – Capsaicin, baby!
Further benefits are:
+ It’s vegan, so it’s not just +500 to karma, it’s also pretty much hot weather safe
+ No added oil except the natural oil in cashews + if you like a hint of roasted sesame seed oil to perfume the dressing
+ No added sugar or sweetener
+ Low calories / low glycemic index
+ It can be gluten-free, like mine (admittedly only if you pick a gluten-free soy sauce)
+ It’s a no-brainer and totally quick and easy to make
+ It’s incredibly, finger-licking good and refreshing
+ Leftover spinach for a vegan gumbo z’herbes! (Because I’ve never managed to buy just a little spinach; they sell it in huge packs here. Maybe you’re lucky to pick just as much or as little baby spinach as you like.)
You’ll need (for 2 people):
One pound of baby spinach leaves that you’ll wash and dry.
6-7 cherry tomatoes that you’ll wash and shop.
A good handful of cashews (unsalted).
One very sweet and ripe cantaloupe melon that you’ll wash and cut into cubes.
For the dressing: soy sauce (gluten-free is great, also try to pick a mild one), hot chili sauce and lime juice.
Optional: roasted sesame seed oil.
The cashews are roasted sans oil. Be attentive and keep your eyes glued to them!
Once the cashews are roasted, remove from fire, let cool.
Now for the dressing: I just pour soy sauce, chili sauce and a good amount of lime juice directly over the cashews.
The dressing must provide a pleasant sour note, and be not too salty. Drizzle with a little sesame oil if you like it.
I think it rounds up the rich taste but you can totally do without.
Now it’s time to pour the dressing + the cashews over the prepped spinach leaves and the tomatoes.
Mix well. And now it’s…
Add the melons and serve immediately; you don’t want them to take in any salt; for they must provide the sweetness.
Et voila, we’re done!
A healthy, delicious, beautiful summer salad!