Hot days are absolutely the time for the kind of textural, colourful, lime-drenched salads and salsas that Mexico and South East Asia share a love of. Whether it’s a classic tomato salsa, an Isaan som tam, a Balinese shallot salad or a simple cucumber and sesame seed number, one of my biggest love affairs is with these crunchy beauties. They go wonderfully with anything off the barbecue – cutting through fat and heavy protein – and they can also easily be bulked out into a one-dish meal with the addition of things like prawns, raw fish or leftover barbecued chicken.
Here’s one I’ve made two nights in a row, for two reasons: I had a heap of tomatoes and peppers needing to be used, and my four year-old demolished this in its entirety (a dish meant for four of us) on the first night, declaring it had changed her view of onion…
This is kind of Mexican in spirit, but it’s really over to you what you put into both the salad and the dressing. The main thrust here is the chopping of everything into small pieces for a textural hit, the marinating of it all in the lime for a time before serving, and the combination of colours. This combo here is particularly festive.
Finely chop ripe tomatoes, red peppers, green or pale yellow/green beans, white onion and a little basil (coriander is good too) and hot green chilli. Dress with plenty of lime juice, a splash of avocado oil and some flaky sea salt.