Once upon a time, in the middle of the Atlantic on a crossing from Antigua, West Indies to Italy, my pirate and reknowned-scrimshaw artist friend “Scrimmy” wrote a song about my daily prepared salads, so enamored with them was he.
“They’re nutty! They’re fruity! They’re really f%$#ing groovy! Nicole’s sa-ha-lads…”
Sure, maybe the tune is a little lost in translation, and I can’t remember all the words, but every time I make a salad, I sing this ditty in my head. Sometimes out loud. Thankfully, I often work by myself…
That being said – with this spate of OUTRAGEOUSLY AMAZING WEATHER Northern California has been experiencing, my heart and mind keep returning to those tropical Caribbean days and longing to taste the fresh flavors of the islands again. How could I help but throw together a bunch of my favorite island ingredients in a bowl and whip up a dressing to match? It happens to be loaded with flavor, bright colors, protein, healthy fats, and just about every vitamin and nutrient you could hope for – yet is completely plant-based, just like the Rastafari would like it!
So fix up a bowl of the islands, and see just how nutty, fruity, and really f&%$#ng groovy this salad can be!!
- 3.5 oz / 100g mâche rosettes (baby spinach or mixed greens will also do)
- 1 c shredded red cabbage
- 1 c cooked black or duPuy lentils
- 1 mango, cut into small dice sized chunks
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ sweet red pepper, small dice
- ⅛ c thinly sliced shallot
- 2 Tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
- For the dressing:
- Flesh of one mango
- ¼ c rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch salt
- In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and set aside.
- For the dressing:
- Combine the mango and rice wine vinegar in a blender or high speed food processor.
- Puree until smooth, then add a pinch of salt and drizzle the olive oil in in a steady stream until it is emulsified.
- Toss the salad with the mango dressing and serve immediately!