Have you ever tried to define what is and isn’t a salad? The Wikipedia article basically comes down to “a mixture, usually vegetables, typically chilled, flavored with salad dressing, with notable exceptions”. You might as well say, “vegetables, except when it’s not”.
After puzzling over this for a bit, I’ve found a definition I like better: a salad is a mixture of things someone likes to eat.
The true power of salad is realizing that someone could be you!
This salad is a recipe from my mom. The first time I saw this was when I was a kid. My mom had made it for herself, and still I remember being pleasantly surprised by how good it was when she let me try some of hers.
I find that the contrast between the flavor of the fresh fruit and the dried plum makes everything taste better. Salt also draws out the water in fresh fruit, concentrating their flavour.
I always do this recipe “by eye”, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt. But nectarines and tomatoes also come in different shapes and sizes, so, whatever. Add two or three if you like! The recipe also works with other kinds of stone fruit (such as peaches and fresh plums), either as a substitute for nectarines or in addition to them.
- about 1 Tomato
- about 1 Nectarine
- approximately 1 teaspoon salt
- approximately 3 Chinese dried salted plums (usually brown or red, and sold in clear bags at the Chinese grocery store, with or without pits)
- cutting board
- knife (preferably a paring knife, but a plastic knife will do in a pinch)
- two bowls
- a fork or toothpicks
- Coarsely chop the tomato and nectarine into a bowl. Discard the nectarine pit.
- Sprinkle the salt over the chopped tomato and nectarine.
- Tear the chinese plums into smaller pieces (discard the pits, or use them to make plum tea) and also sprinkle over the tomato and nectarine.
- Toss to combine. (I like to use the second bowl as a lid when tossing to combine.) Enjoy with a fork or toothpicks.