Outdoor Summer Entertaining is Easy with this Delicious Thai Salad
Living in Florida I have an endless love for collecting summery recipes that I can serve when entertaining outdoors. The thing is though, I don’t actually make all of the recipes I collect. Some of them seem perfect at the time I rip them out of my Food & Wine magazine, print them from a fellow foodie’s blog or dog-ear them from one of my oh-so-many cookbooks (I have an entire wall unit filled to the brim with cookbooks by the way!) But when it comes right down to actually buying the ingredients and making the vast majority of the summery recipes I have collected something goes awry. I either don’t have the vast majority of ingredients on hand, the recipe seems too complex or too time-consuming to make. Or it just doesn’t seem as appetizing anymore.
But my Thai Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette is different.
For years I have found myself falling back on my Thai Salad over and over again. It never lets me down and it always looks beautiful on the table. Serving beautiful food is not always my biggest concern if it is just for my family, but when I am entertaining I always want to make sure the food is looking good!
I also love that this recipe can serve as the perfect side salad to a larger meal or the canvas for a lighter dinner seafood entrée. If we are grilling outdoors and entertaining guests with a light supper I like to nestle a few grilled shrimp or a nice piece of wild salmon on top of the salad. Serving it with a nice chilled glass of Sterling Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (an excellent value at about $15 a bottle) adds the final touch.
A Quick Word on Entertaining with Style at an Affordable Price
If you plan on serving the Thai Salad at your next outdoor party and you are looking for a few new entertaining pieces you might want to check out One Kings Lane. Ever since we moved into our new house earlier this year I have been completely obsessed with One Kings Lane –my online marketplace destination for finding top-brand, designer and vintage home goods at unbelievable prices. Although One King Lane does not specialize in kitchen items, cookware or entertaining, their online storefront collection changes constantly and you can almost always find fun and inspiring basic entertaining ingredients such as linens, china, glass, serving pieces, fine pottery, and other tablescape essentials—and all at a significantly reduced price! Perusing One King’s Lane is actually one of my favorite online pastimes these days and even if I don’t buy, I always leave inspired. If you entertain a lot it is definitely worth your while to check in with One Kings Lane from time to time.
One of the Secrets to Making the Perfect Salad
Oh! And one important note before you begin making the salad: be sure not to ignore the directions to pat the vegetables you will use in the salad as dry as possible. Using very dry lettuce and vegetables is one of the biggest secrets to making the perfect salad!
Thai Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 -6
Ingredients for the Thai Salad
- 1 head Boston lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 can (15-ounces) whole baby corn, drained, chopped, and patted dry
- 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained and patted dry
- 1 can (8-ounces) chopped water chestnuts, drained and patted dry
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Directions for the Thai Salad
1. In a large serving bowl, add the lettuce, mint, cilantro, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, corn, oranges and water chestnuts (Note: be sure all salad ingredients are very dry.) Gently toss all ingredients. Pour the Tahini Vinaigrette (see recipe below) on top of the salad and gently toss. Sprinkle the peanuts on top of the salad just before serving.
Ingredients for the Tahini Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup unrefined toasted sesame oil, such as Napa Valley Naturals Organic Unrefined Sesame Oil (Note: if the sesame oil does not specifically say it is unrefined then you can assume it is a less-healthy refined oil)
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon unpasteurized soy sauce, such as Nama Shoyu (Note: Unpasteurized soy sauce, such as Nama Shoyu, is distinctly different than the typical soy sauce you purchase at a regular grocery because it is loaded with good-for-you probiotics and enzymes)
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Directions for the Tahini Vinaigrette
1. Place all of the ingredients for the tahini vinaigrette in a small mixing bowl and whisk well with a fork. Pour the vinaigrette over the Thai Salad, toss well and then let sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature for the flavors to develop. Serve at room temperature or outside.