Monday, July 1, 2013

Eurasia Salad Duet

A bit clumsy name I gave to this salad but I just couldn't think of a better name for whatever come out of my hands that night. There were two salads done, one is in Asian style and one - in European, so Eurasia salad duet, it is.

Blog's Category: My Own Fast and Easy

Eurasia Salad Duet


At the moment, there were strict requirements to that night's evening meal:
- using up bunch of fresh asparagus before it's gone bad
- using up defrosted kani crab sticks (kani is a special, very stringy, fish/crab sticks sold at Asian groceries and used for one of my favorites - kani salad)
- it has to be salad (to stick to the rule of eating fresh salads daily)

Of course I could make some casual, random and effortless mix salad adding up ingredients until desired taste achieved. Although I was in a mood for something more elegant, that's how these salad duet was born. "Twins" turned out just adorable :)

For the Asia part, kani crab sticks were mixed with julienned carrots, seasoned with chili pepper flakes, coriander, rice vinegar, garlic and sesame oil.

For European half of Eurasia, cooked asparagus was mixed with boiled eggs, black pepper, mustard, mayonnaise and tarragon.

What is it?

These two salads are very different, but served side to side.. just like Eurasia nationalities - very different but living cheek-to-cheek happily ever after (in my ideal world [sigh]).
Bright, orange colored one, is carrot and crab sticks salad, it has Asian flavors and taste.
Green salad is asparagus and eggs salad, which has soft decadent flavors of Europe.

Taste Description

"Asia" of Eurasia Salad has a little bit of fire from a chili pepper, a little sweet-and-sour notes beautifully laid on a top of great crunchy/tender stringy mix of carrots and crab sticks.

Laying next to "Asia", "Europa", will take you in totally different direction - tender but still brightly green pieces of asparagus, swimming in a mayo/mustard sauce, are perfectly paired with good old boiled eggs - classic combination, isn't it? Fair amount of black pepper and fresh tarragon make this salad totally European and bring it to another level with its one of a kind tarragon's fragrant flavor and delectable taste.

How to Serve

Serve salads next to each other, on a large shallow plate, sprinkled with a whole tarragon leaves.

Eurasia Salad 

"Asia" salad: 
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 4 tbs rice vinegar (or 3 tbs regular vinegar)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs coriander powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbs flavorless olive oil
  • 1 8-10 oz pack of kani crab sticks (or regular crab sticks)
  • salt to taste

"Europa" salad:
  • 1 bunch, about 2 lb, of asparagus, ends snapped off
  • 4 eggs, boiled and diced
  • 1/3 c chopped fresh tarragon + some whole leaves for garnishing
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs nice mayonnaise
  • salt to taste
"Asia" salad:

- In a large bowl, add salt to julienned carrots, mix well and leave it alone for 5 minutes

- Meanwhile, separate kani crab sticks (if using kani style crab sticks). If using regular crab sticks, separate into flakes. Sometimes, to make it easier, I add a splash of drinking quality water and let it stay to soften and then separate it.

- Add other Asian salad ingredients, except crab sticks, to the bowl with carrots and mix thoroughly. Add crab sticks to the bowl, combine well and adjust salt-pepper-sugar-vinegar equilibrium. The "Asia" is done ;)

"Europe" salad:

- Boil water in a pot, add asparagus and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Immediately drain asparagus into colander and pour cold water from a faucet over, for a minute or two, to stop cooking process.

- Cut asparagus into 1" sticks. Cool them down completely.

- In a bowl, combine asparagus with the rest of "Europa" salad ingredients. Done!

- Enjoy both salads, switching from "Europe" to "Asia" at your own pace. In between, don't forget to bite to the whole tarragon leaves to have a spike of amazing fragrance in your mouth... I hope you like it as I do.


One of my tools, Chinese mandoline, I can not live without... Pretty dangerous one, but I guess, we have some agreement between us now :)))))

Fresh tarragon is such difference from the dry one - it's a lot more fragrant because it still has that special volatile essential oil which is lost in a dry form. I grow my tarragon in a pot, out on my deck. It looks very pretty there.

I couldn't go by not posting these couple of beautiful portraits of tarragon...very fresh, right from the pot, just washed up with a drops of water on its slender leaves...


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