Last month while in London on spring break, my husband and I opted for a quick lunch one day at one of the many Prêt à Manger fast food restaurants located throughout the city. After a few bites of a simple but unusual salad, I pulled out my phone and starting taking photos. My spouse looked on, surprised that I was snapping shots in this popular eatery, not exactly a foodie destination.
The dish that caught my eye was a salad prepared with edamame, peas, and diced avocado tossed with cilantro sprigs and dressed in a spicy sesame dressing. The taste was light yet satisfying, and the varied verdant hues of the ingredients gave the dish visual heft.
Back home, I devoted a morning to trying to reproduce the recipe and came up with a close facsimile. The sesame dressing assembled with both rice vinegar and lemon juice for tart notes, gets some heat from red pepper flakes and a hit of saltiness from soy sauce.
Three cups of loosely packed cilantro sprigs replace lettuce greens in this dish, and can be cleaned several hours ahead and refrigerated.
Pair this spring green salad with grilled chicken or lamb, roasted salmon fillets, or pan-seared scallops for dinner or serve it with soup for a light lunch or supper.
Print This Recipe
Avocado, Edamame, and Peas in Spicy Sesame Dressing
4 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar (natural not seasoned)
1 1/2 tbsp light (reduced sodium) soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
3/4 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
3/8 tsp sugar
3/8 dicedtsp red pepper flakes
3/8 tsp kosher salt
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 tsp lemon juice
1 cup fresh, shelled peas or frozen peas (See cooking tip)
1 cup cooked edamame
3 cups loosely packed cilantro sprigs
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted (See cooking tip)
1. For the dressing, in a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well blended. You should get a scant half cup. (Dressing can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes and whisk well before using.)
2. Place the diced avocados in a salad bowl and toss with 4 teaspoons lemon juice. Marinate 5 minutes. Then add the peas and edamame, to the bowl, toss with half of the dressing, and marinate 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cilantro sprigs and toss, adding just enough of the remaining dressing to coat lightly. You may have some dressing left over; cover and refrigerate for another use (It’s delicious drizzled over roasted or grilled salmon.)
3. Mound the salad on 6 salad plates and sprinkle each serving with sesame seeds.
Cooking tip: If using fresh peas, blanch them in a pot of boiling water until just tender 2 to 3 minutes.. Strain them in a sieve under cold running water until cool. Then pat dry. For frozen pea, defrost and pat dry before using.
Cooking tip: To toast sesame seeds, place them in a heavy, medium skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and cool.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2017