Aug 23, 2011

Can I have some salad now please, Mr Birdy?

 This could very well be the most delicious & implausible 
salad dressing I have tried in a long time.
With unlikely ingredients like soy sauce & parmesan,
(yes, together!)
it is a fab concoction that just works.
I call it a "global salad" and the recipe comes 
from the incredible Heather
an American who is now happily lost in Provence.
We were exchanging salad ideas recently,
and she mentioned this crazy salad 
which has become 
a favourite of hers.
Only trouble was, 
as I was preparing it for family consumption,
my pet rainbow lorrikeet, who answers to the name "Rumbah"
(because he likes to dance)
also decided it was the flavour of the day,
and he tried to steal the luscious apples, cabbage & coriander.
Rumbah decided that it was his dish,
and refused to get off the bowl.
(That's his "I'm all puffed up and really scary 
so you can't make me get off" look.)
But a sweet Pink Lady apple core did the trick,
and he busily munched on the sweet flesh
while I finished the salad.
So, what's in it, this crazy salad that drives a lorrikeet wild?
Apple, cabbage (supposed to be purple but I had savoy),
tomato, fresh coriander (cilantro), walnuts,
petite pois (or sugar peas, but I used sugar pea sprouts).
The dressing is soy sauce, lime juice (but I used orange),
fish sauce, rice vinegar.
Then freshly shaved parmesan over the top.
Yeah, it sounds weird
But you just have to trust me: it's fabulous! 
 This was all served with chicken curry pies
(the curry is more like lentil, potato & cauliflower,
with a little chicken for flavouring as we are semi-vegetarian).
And the pastry?
One of my favourites -  a citrus pastry that is impossibly short
and melt in the mouth.
(2 cups plain flour, 150 gm butter, 1 free range egg,
enough fresh orange juice to create the right texture).
Oh and Rumbah? 
You are probably wondering what he had for dinner?
Well he had his own delicious plate of global salad,
so he was as one happy little birdie!!

Go check out Heather's warmly inspiring 
adventures in experiencing the simple beauty in life,
on her Lost in Arles blog.

Images: blue fruit


  1. Your salad and chicken pie look delicious! No wonder Rumbah can't resist the temptation! He is very beautiful, by the way!

  2. Annie Loveridge23/8/11 9:06 AM

    Looks lovely Virginia. I have been getting back into salad making the last few weeks (after a winter of pea mash) and this looks so good. It's fish night tonight and I have all the ingredients except cabbage so will pick up and give it a go. Rumbah is beautiful...we have a crazy dog. Oh for a bird! Annie x.

  3. Thank you Jessie. He is the most impossibly wonderful colours, but he will not ever stay still for long enough for me to photograph him properly! 

  4. Hi Annie, well I don't know....a crazy dog or a crazy bird??? Is one any better than the other? Rumbah is HUGELY cheeky. One of his favourite tricks is to "ring" like the phone does, then when we pick it up he yells "hello" then falls about laughing. You feel like a dork...having being tricked by a bird.
    Whoever said birds don't have a sense a humour? He taunts the cat by meowing, and makes the same noise as the cappuccino machine as soon as we walk near it. Did I mention he has a latte addiction???Let me know how your salad turns out tonight Annie! 

  5. Your bird is beautiful and has good taste.  I understand completely why he is digging right in...looks delicious!!

  6. Claudia Lane23/8/11 11:35 AM

    Oh yum, now you are making me very hungry Virginia, this looks so delicious, am definitely trying your recipe
    Rumbah is really cute btw  :)Have a great dayClaudia xo

  7. Hello Virginia

    I love it - I am a salad freak!  I really think I want to write a salad cookbook one day (bucket list).

    Ok - a funny thought here

    I didn't see the parrot after the pie was shown - did it end up parrot pie?
    No seriously everyone - I am joking - no emails to poor Virginia.

    Please give me a call when you are making again - I'd be glad to pop over


  8. Loulou you are as cheeky as Rumbah is! No he definitely didn't end up as parrot pie! I cannot imagine life without him - he keeps us endlessly entertained with his crazy gourmet taste and antics. 

  9. Bluerhills23/8/11 2:01 PM

    The salad looks great though I might skip the cheese. The pie looks delicious and I love a good crust. My all-time favorite crust is suet and it's brilliant for Spotted Dick, Dead Man's Leg, and Jam Roly Poly! Those were the days! Love the idea of the bird being territorial with your food.

  10. Dead man's leg? I haven't heard of that one! But I remember the other 2 from boarding school. Although I suspect your version is quite a rather lot different and much more delicious! 

  11. Jane and Lance Hattatt23/8/11 3:34 PM

    Hello Virginia:
    We cannot quite decide which is the more decorative, Rumbah or the salad? But when it comes to the eating, then there would be no choice. Your salad looks positively delicious and we love the look and sound of the little curry pies. May we come to dinner?

    Heather's blog, is as you say, full of wonderful ideas and adventures delivered with all of the generosity of an American in France.

  12. Hello Jane & Lance! I am delighted that you would not choose to eat Rumbah for dinner! 
    But he is fabulously colourful, and a tad vain as well, as befits one so beautifully plumed. I like that phrase "the generosity of an American in France" because it sums it up so succinctly, and I know exactly what you mean. 

  13. robinsonheather23/8/11 6:28 PM

    Oh hooray! Virginia, you are so amazing. I was just thinking yesterday "Hmm, no word from Virginia about the salad. Her family must have hated it. Must send my apologies." :) Glad that wasn't the case and I thank you so very much for the shout out to boot! I find that same warmth here plus authenticity but with a slight difference in global perspective/culture that is always inspiring.

    PS. Your descriptions of Rhumba's antics had me rolling!

  14. Anything but "hated it" Heather! My daughter decided it would be a family favourite.  The orange juice worked well in the dressing - gave just a little hint of sweet to balance the vinegar. But of course it is late winter/early spring here, so oranges are in plentiful supply. In summer, lime would be refreshing. Isn't it funny how we are at opposite ends of the globe yet this system of sharing ideas works so well? 

  15. renee finberg23/8/11 10:29 PM

    the salad looks divine but.....
    RUMBAH is the most divine!!!

    how sweet!!!

  16. Oh sweet, Rumbah is one pretty bird!

  17. Joy at Joyfulthings24/8/11 2:58 AM

    my mouth is watering - it all looks so delicious!   I'm trying that salad tonight for sure, I love pea sprouts and I love cilantro.

  18.  agree! It makes me want to share more! For example, my new favorite cocktail, The Basilito. This was stolen off of Elizabeth Minchilli's excellent food blog:

    The Basilito (short version)
    2 oz vodka
    6 large basil leaves
    1 tsp sugar
    sparkling water 

    Muddle the basil, vodka and sugar in glass. Fill up to half with sparkling water. Fill with ice.

    This is insanely good on a hot day. I know that you aren't there yet on your side of the world but will  be soon enough!


  19. My husband's favourite herb! He goes nuts when I bring bunches of it into the house from the garden. A wee early for it in my garden, but plenty around in the markets, so I will try this on the weekend Heather. We are having amazingly beautiful spring weather suddenly so I reckon I could sneak this in.

  20. robinsonheather27/8/11 7:54 AM

    Yipee! Let me know how it goes. 
    Bon Weekend!


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