Plum, Pear & Cucumber Salad With Lime-Honey Dressing and Pistachios
You’re probably wondering why there’s a sudden increase in the number of salads being posted on this blog, and that too, from someone who professes to dislike them. The fact of the matter is that I am slowly developing a taste for them, and the doctor seems to think they’re good for us. It’s also a good way to incorporate more fruit into our diet that the said doctor feels we need.
I still don’t like predominantly leafy salads so you won’t find my salads having too much of leaves. Give me the kind that are a nice mix of vegetable and fruit that are light, sweet, salty and tangy and I’ll give the salad a try.
A good thing about living where I do, is that we can eat salad pretty much at any part of the year if we choose to, and not just during summer. We don’t have winters here though there’s a chill in the air late at night and early in the mornings. Our days are comfortable to eat salads, which is a good thing really, because this is the season when we get a whole variety of vegetable and fruit not found during any other part of the year.
This is not really a seasonal salad as this isn’t the time of the year for Indian plums, though one can still find Indian pears. However, thanks to globalization and imports we now have pears and plums throughout the year, though a whole deal more expensive.
I don’t really advocate the use of imported fruit for 2 reasons – one because I believe in using locally grown produce as much as possible, and the other (perhaps the most important reason) because imported fruit has usually been “meddled” with. I don’t hold with the “unnatural” behaviour of ripe fruit that can sit on the kitchen counter in tropical climates for 2 weeks and not spoil!
That’s not to say I don’t buy imported fruit at all, but I mostly avoid doing so. I did however give into an urge to buy some plums, and this was largely because the variety of Indian plums that do find their way to our southern Indian markets from the North, are usually more sour than sweet. The imported varieties are invariably sweeter.
Use a slightly firm and crunchier variety of pear for this salad, if you can find it. The crunch is a nice contrast to the soft, fleshy plums and the cucumbers. A good friend and fellow blogger Madhuli, who lives in Indian grape country, had gifted me a bottle of grape seed oil the last we met so I put that to good use here. Feel free to use whatever oil you like here – extra virgin olive oil or any other will do fine.
As I have mentioned below, you can peel your cucumbers (or de-seed them) or not, depending on the variety you’re using or how you like them. Replace the red chilli flakes with crushed pepper, and use almonds or walnuts instead of pistachios if you prefer. Make this your salad any which way, and enjoy it!
- Mix together the pear, plum and the cucumber in a bowl.
- Make the lime-honey dressing by whisking together the lime juice, honey, grape seed oil, the chilli flakes and the salt. Drizzle over the salad and toss lightly so the salad is well mixed with it.
- Garnish with basil leaves and chopped toasted pistachios. Serve immediately.
*You can peel the cucumbers if you wish or leave the skin on, depending on the variety. Some cucumbers have very fine seeds which you can leave. Otherwise, just use a teaspoon and scrape the seeds out.