It was a hot hot hot Saturday at this week’s HOOD FOOD at MKT by bazbaz Art installation and Marketplace at 2100 North Miami Ave., but that didn’t keep the local artisans, food vendors and many attendees from strolling thru the various stalls, tasting the local food offerings from Jucy Lu, Smart Bites, LadyFingrs popsicles, Mary's Brigadeiros and Lesage Bakery. and enjoying the electronic pop sounds from the very talented Ari Blik.
Carol took the stage in the amphitheater and talked about Florida’s fresh food scene, and the fact that we have TWO growing seasons. While the rising temperatures will soon end the season for traditional produce like tomatoes, asparagus, and peppers, the little appreciated season for tropical fruits and vegetables begins.
She stressed that in a city with so many food insecure, that the introduction and proper use of the many fruits and vegetables growing right in our backyards can help to not only offer healthy eating options but provide food for so many.
Carol then proceeded to hold up ziplock bags of freshly shredded green and orange papaya, carrots, tomatoes, jalapeno, basil, mint and cilantro…all from her own backyard!
Emptying the bags on a large banana leaf, Carol proceeded to demo how to create a tasty, refreshing and slightly spicy Green Papaya Salad, a favorite dish in Thai restaurants and what could be a summer staple at every meal. Mixing the fresh ingredients and tossing them with Thai fish sauce, lime juice and fresh garlic resulted in the perfect cool salad for that hot hot hot day!
By request, here is the full recipe for Carol’s Green Papaya Salad:
Carol’s Local Green Papaya Salad
• 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 tablespoon dry-roasted salted peanuts, 2 more for garnish
• 2 fresh chilies ( jalapeño or serrano) sliced thin
• 1 teaspoon organic Florida Cane sugar
• 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (optional)
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 2 to 4 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla), to taste
• 2 plum tomatoes, 1 large round tomato, or 8 grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1 small carrot julienned in long thin strips
• 1⁄2 pound long beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (optional)
• 1⁄4 cup chopped mint
• 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
• 1⁄4 cup chopped Thai basil or Sweet Basil
• 1 small to medium green (unripe) papaya (see Note)
• Large Banana Leaf for serving (optional)
In a blender or mortar and pestle, grind or pound garlic, salt, 1 tbsp. peanuts, chilies, sugar and shrimp (if using) into a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in lime juice and fish sauce. Lightly crush tomatoes, then add to bowl with the beans (if using) and mix lightly.
Peel the papaya, discarding seeds and inner membrane, then shred into thin strips on a mandolin or in a food processor. There should be 4 to 6 cups.
Add shredded papaya, julienned carrots, herbs to bowl and toss together. Taste and adjust seasoning, lime or fish sauce to taste. Mound in a bowl or on a freshly cut and washed banana leaf. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and serve.
Please make sure you follow Slow Food Miami for more information about local healthy eating and the important movement to educating and supporting the food insecure.