|Thai curry salad, three ways. © Ryan Schierling|
Well, we made salad.
Oh, but we didn't just make one kind. No, we had to try three different kinds...
It's been a month turbocharged with ideas, but we seem to have suffered from insufficient time for setting all those creative impulses into motion. So, when we committed to making salads Thai curry-style, we didn't mess around; we just made them all. The red, green and yellow standards that are familiar in our home, just a little... cooler.
I tend to associate "comfort food" with hot food. Something that warms the belly and coddles the senses, and this was admittedly a wide swing in the opposite direction of my huge crush on the hot, hot deliciousness that is Thai curry. But, no matter! Sometimes one's source of inspiration gets tantalizingly trumped by curiosity and an inventive tangent.
Now, we stayed as true to the traditional elements used in each of these curries when served hot, but adapted as necessary for the freshness and texture we expect of a salad. In lieu of jasmine rice we used a delicate rice vermicelli. We decided to limit it to three basic ingredients in addition to the vermicelli, a traditional curry sauce and the amazing fresh Thai basil we are blessed to have happily at hand in our herb garden. Our other criteria was that each salad had to have something with a little crunch and be able to feature a starch or protein nicely. We chose vegetables that are as good fresh as cooked, and passed on the tofu – just this once. (Curry and tofu are most excellent companions, though, so we will totally try this with fried tofu one day soon.)