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Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Salad

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Salad

A few years ago I took a trip to San Francisco. It was a great trip. Not only did I get to spend some time with Ruth Reichl, I visited Karen at The  Lemon Ladies Orchard, and I met Shae for the first time. I stopped by Omnivore Books, Sam was still working there then. She directed me to some great restaurants. I picked up a cook book to take home as a souvenir from my trip. I love imported cookbooks, in my brief look through this one I knew there would be many recipes I would like to try.
When I returned home it was back to training our 10 month old, 115 pound puppy. We were experimenting with leaving him home alone for brief periods of time, and progressively longer periods of time. One of those longer periods we came home to find everything that had been on the kitchen counter chewed apart, or eaten. It was a huge mess sprawling one end of the house to the other. In the mess I found my new cook book laying open, face down on the floor. The front (hardcover) cover had been partially chewed, dog tooth puncture marks were through the entire book, and  few pages had been ripped out and eaten completely. I was so angry with myself, the dog, and the whole incident. I almost threw the book away, but David convinced me to keep it. So, I shoved it up on the shelf and there it sat until I noticed it a few days ago. Somehow, two years later the damage didn't seem so bad. Those recipes that had piqued my interest all those years ago were still there. Yes, I couldn't help but think back to that day and laugh. Oh, what a mess! The book still  reminds me of that wonderful trip.
I had been looking for a mandarin salad, something different. At first I was excited, but then the combination reminded me of a perfume I once had. I was kind of turned off, who wants to eat a salad that tastes like perfume? Not me. There was something about it that kept calling to me, so I finally made it for lunch. The basil and sesame seeds are key players in this salad, don't skimp on them if you make it. The flavor combination was wonderful, nothing like the perfume, but if you want to dab some behind your ears, I won't tell anyone!
Lime, Basil, and Mandarin Salad
adapted from Teaching Dad to Cook Flapjack

For the dressing
1 tablespoon honey
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
fresh ground pepper to taste

For the salad
4 mandarins, peeled and broken into segments
1/2 cucumber, cut into bite size chunks
large handful basil leaves, sliced into long strips
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine honey, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper in a small lidded container. Shake well to combine.
Scatter mandarin segments and cucumber on a salad plate. Sprinkle with basil leaves and sesame seeds. Drizzle dressing over top of salad. Serve immediately. Makes one generous salad for lunch, or two smaller side salads.


  1. This salad looks very good. It sounds very refreshing. Definitely the kind of salad that I like. What cucumber did you use? Regular or English? Thanks.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. I used English cucumber, but either would work just fine.

  3. This looks great, Nicole! there is not a word in that title that doesn't appeal to me as all of them are some of my favorite flavors.

  4. I love a salad with fruit in it. So good.


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