Sunday, November 19, 2023
HomeSpanish FoodMY KITCHEN IN SPAIN: A YIN-YANG SALAD

MY KITCHEN IN SPAIN: A YIN-YANG SALAD


 

Black sesame seeds.

An open packet of black sesame seeds jogged my memory of gomasio, a sesame-salt condiment that I used to make, method again in my hippy days (late Nineteen Sixties), after we dabbled in Macrobiotics. 

A few of the expats within the Spanish village the place I nonetheless dwell got here spherical with a e book referred to as You Are All Sanpaku by George Ohsawa (translated by William Dufty). Sanpaku is a Japanese time period which means “the whites of your eyes are exhibiting beneath the pupils”—a certain signal of bodily and non secular imbalance, in accordance with the e book. 

We checked one another out. If the whites have been exhibiting, you have been advised, “Hey, man, your Yin and Yang are out of whack.” The treatment was a Macrobiotic food regimen, consisting of complete grains, natural and seasonal greens, little meat and fats, completely no sugar in any respect.  Which will sound like a perfect food regimen for the entire world, but it surely had some extreme restrictions. It was virtually the antithesis of the Mediterranean food regimen and right here we have been, dwelling in sight of the Med. 

For example, tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes have been to be utterly prevented, as a result of they have been probably the most yin of greens.  Poison to the system. Fruit, too, was yin. An occasional apple is likely to be acceptable, if it was baked to extend its yang properties. However citrus? No method. Perhaps one orange a 12 months. And we lived in an orange grove. Salads and uncooked greens have been yin. Adios, gazpacho. Yeast was yin, so macrobiotic bread, as produced by native practitioners, was as dense as lead weights.

Nonetheless, we gave it a attempt, starting with the 10-day brown rice fasting food regimen, which was imagined to type out the physique´s steadiness. On the finish of which, I had gained weight. You have been supposed to limit fluid consumption so that you solely peed as soon as a day. I by no means drank a drop and nonetheless peed six or seven instances. I used to be perpetually yinned-out.

However, I picked-up some new habits throughout my macrobiotic interval. One was to eat slowly, chew 100 instances, to scale back the grain to liquid earlier than swallowing. Not that I depend anymore. In slightly macrobiotic cookbook, I discovered a very nice recipe for roasted brown rice with greens that I nonetheless make. And, on this white-bread nation, Spain, I obtained hooked on complete grains. I additionally acquired an actual fondness for that yang condiment, gomasio, toasted sesame seed floor with sea salt.

This week, as soon as I had made a batch of gomasio, I experimented a bit, sprinkling it over some very yin-ful strawberries. Add some olive oil dressing, name it salad. I make no claims that this salad balances yin and yang parts. In truth, I think about it bends strongly towards yin. However it’s beautiful and, with the contrasts in flavors and textures, fairly scrumptious.

Sliced strawberries with French dressing, balls of goat cheese and some rose petals amongst the salad greens. The salad is speckled with toasted black sesame-salt.

Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Sesame Salt

Ensalada de Fresas con Queso de Cabra y Sal de Sésamo

Use both black or tan sesame seed (referred to as ajonjolí or sésamo in Spanish) for the gomasio. The cheese balls, with two sorts of goat cheese, is likely to be changed with cubes of mozzarella, feta or any queso fresco. As a result of the roses in my backyard are fabulous proper now, I’ve added (elective) rose petals to the salad. Black olives or blueberries make a visible distinction with the purple strawberries. When you have a selection, go for the briny olives. Blueberries are fairly, however insipid.

For the sesame salt (gomasio):

3 tablespoon black or tan sesame seeds

1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt

Crushed sesame and salt.

Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet on medium warmth till they’re calmly toasted and aromatic. (It could be troublesome to evaluate the colour for the black seeds.) Add the salt to the sesame seeds and toast a couple of seconds so the combination is totally dry.

Take away the skillet from the warmth and empty the sesame seeds right into a bowl. Allow them to cool. Working in small batches, crush the sesame seeds and salt in a mortar. Retailer the sesame salt in a jar with a decent lid.

Contemporary goat cheese.

For the cheese balls (bolitas de queso):

Makes about 2-dozen (1-inch) balls.

3 ½ ounces goat cheese log (½ cup diced), room temperature

3 ½ ounces recent goat cheese (½ cup diced), room temperature 

Milk or plain yogurt to skinny the cheese

Olive oil for shaping

Place the 2 sorts of diced cheese in a mini-processor. Course of till easy and creamy, including milk or yogurt a teaspoon at a time if combination is just too stiff to course of. 

Oil a flat container. Oil the arms. Form the cheese combination into marble-sized balls. Place them within the container and chill them, lined, till able to assemble the salad.

For the dressing (aliño para ensalada):

Makes extra dressing than is required for the strawberry salad

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon pimentón de la Vera (smoked pimentón)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon brine from a jar of olives or capers

6 tablespoons further virgin olive oil

Whisk collectively the mustard, pimentón, salt and vinegar. Stir within the brine. Whisk within the oil till dressing is emulsified. 

For the salad:

Serves 4 to six.

12 ounces strawberries (2 cups sliced)

¼ cup pitted black olives (or blueberries)

3 tablespoons salad dressing (above)

1 to 2 cups mesclun, microgreens, rucula, purple endive or child spinach 

Rose petals (elective)

Cheese balls (recipe above)

Pea shoots (elective)

Basil leaves

Sesame salt (recipe above)

Wash the strawberries, take away hulls and slice or quarter them. Place them in a bowl with the olives or blueberries and add 2 tablespoons of the ready dressing. 

Place the mesclun or different salad greens in a small bowl and toss them calmly with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. 

Prepare mesclun/greens on a platter or particular person salad plates with the rose petals, if utilizing. Unfold the strawberries on the greens. Add the balls of cheese. Garnish with pea shoots, if utilizing, and basil. Sprinkle the strawberries and cheese balls with sesame salt.

Extra recipes with strawberries:

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