Friday, January 10, 2014

Cucumber & Wakame Salad with Clementines

Cucumber & Wakame Salad with Clementines recipe
This recipe comes from Summer Tomato's Elyse Kopecky. I love seaweed and need the iodine so thought I'd try it. Searching through our local grocery stores yielded no wakame. So I put the idea in the back of my mind and went about life. Then it happened. While on my way to a seminar on platform (you know… having one means you have thousands of followers, thus publishers and consumers pay attention), I saw a sign that read International Market. "Oooo!" I thought. "I must check that out afterwards."

I hit the motherlode! The market was huuuuuuuge—bigger than a football field. Giant produce section, live and fresh seafood and aisles dedicated to every culture you can think of. If you don't see what you're looking for, tell the owner and he'll bring it in.

I walked in the door to the food court, turned left, cruised past the assorted cooking and serving ware then spotted what I thought might be the seaweed section. Bingo! Now to find the wakame amongst the many kinds of seaweed offered... found it!

The Summer Tomato version of this salad called for navel orange segments, but the salad warranted smaller segments (IMHO). Winter is citrus season and I always have my favorite variety, the clementine orange, in the fridge. Voilà! Small, sweet and seedless, it gives the perfect sweetness to any salad. 
Cucumber & Wakame Salad with Clementines
Scored & Sliced Cucmbers
Chopped Wakame
Chopped Wakame
Cucumber Wakame Salad with Cuties

yield 5 servings

category Salad
cuisine Vegan

1 pound cucumbers (persian variety best)
sea salt
1/2 oz wakame (~1/2 Cup)
4 Clementine oranges (Cuties)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp rice or apple cidar vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
toasted sesame seeds or Gomasio (optional)

1. Wash and score cucumbers along length with a fork and slice thinly. Sprinkle with sea salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Soak wakame for 15 minutes in cold water, drain and chop.
3. Drain excess liquid from cucumbers. Check for saltiness. Rinse lightly if too salty then pat dry. Add wakame to cucumbers.
4. Peel and segment the oranges.
5. Whisk together remaining ingredients (except sesame seeds) and pour over vegetables. Toss with oranges segments.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or Gomasio and enjoy.
Cucumber & Wakame Salad with Clementines

I elected to sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the salad since I had some Gomasio in my pantry. What is Gomasio? It's dry roasted, sesame seed ground with sea salt and garlic powder. Eastern cultures do not put straight salt on food. They use condiments like gomasio to balance and enhance. Sesame seed oil, released by roasting, coats the salt and amplifies it for more taste with less salt.

Maybe you've never tried seaweed—except perhaps when you ate a California roll. How about a New Year's challenge to try some different foods in 2014. This is an easy and delicious recipe to check that off.

Have you ever tried seaweed? What kind, what was the dish and where did you eat it?


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