Pickled Vegetable-Seafood Salad
- TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6 first-course servings
Vietnamese salads are an incomparable mix of chewy, crunchy, tangy, sweet, fiery and refreshing ingredients. The breakfast version that F&W's Marcia Kiesel had at the Hideaway was tossed with the unusually long, slender pine nuts from the mountains in Dalat. Marcia Kiesel substitutes peanuts and serves it for a light supper.
- 4 large celery ribs, cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks
- 2 large carrots, cut into thin julienne (on a mandoline)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 large cucumbers—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp—shelled, deveined and halved lengthwise
- 1/2 pound small, cleaned squid, bodies sliced into 1/4-inch rings, tentacles left whole
- 2 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 2 red Thai chiles or 1 medium jalapeño, thickly sliced
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
- In a medium bowl, toss the celery and carrots with 1 teaspoon each of the salt and sugar. Add the vinegar and gently squeeze the vegetables with your hands to work in the seasonings. Let stand for 5 minutes. In another bowl, toss the cucumbers with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; work the salt into the cucumbers. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Rinse the celery, carrots and cucumbers under cold water and squeeze dry. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the shrimp just until pink and curled, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the vegetables. Add the squid to the water and cook until opaque, about 1 minute; transfer to the bowl.
- In a mortar, pound the garlic to a paste with the chiles and the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and water. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss well. Sprinkle the peanuts over the salad and serve.
This vibrant salad with its sweet shellfish is great with a briny, light white winethe classic definition of Portugal's Vinho Verde.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.