"Sweet, salty, sour, and oh so delicious", is this Southeast Asian style salad. If you have not tried Papaya Salad before, and you are lucky enough to live near a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant, go there now and try this dish! This is a summertime staple in our house because it's a light healthy meal that can be made very quickly (and we think is just as good, if not better the second day). The initial recipe came from Saveur magazine and was made with beef jerkey, but I found that adding broiled shrimp was just as tasty and made this dish even lighter.

Green Papaya Salad with Broiled Shrimp
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Thai chiles, stemmed, seeded,
   and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 green papaya
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups loosely packed, roughly
   torn Thai basil or cilantro

handful of cherry tomatoes
4 oz. Shrimp(prebroiled)

1. Whisk together fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chiles, and garlic in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Set dressing aside.
2. Peel papaya and trim ends. Halve papaya lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the thin white layer lining the cavity. Using a Japanese mandoline fitted with the julienne blade, cut the papaya into 1/8" thick strips. Transfer papaya to a colander and sprinkle with the salt and sugar; toss to combine. Let sit until juicy and pliant, 30–45 minutes.
3. Rinse papaya under cold water and drain. Working in batches, transfer papaya to a tea towel and wring out excess moisture. Place papaya in a large bowl and toss to separate the strips. Add reserved dressing along with the basil /cilantro and tomatoes, then toss to combine. Serve topped with the broiled shrimp.


2009 Stony Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Stony bay is a label made by Matariki Wines for the US market. It is a blend of 85.5% Sauvignon Blanc and 14.5% Semillon coming from vineyards in Hawkes Bay, on the North Island of New Zealand. The vinification has been carried out in stainless steel vats with a few months of on the sediments.

Tasting notes:
Pale straw color. Nice fruit on the nose: grapefruit, pineapple, green papaya with a hint of grass and wet stones. Light bodied and crisp. The grapefruit is definitely there, but it is not overbearing the flavors of guava and the grassiness of this wine. There is also a nice minerality following through; I think Stony Bay is an appropriate name for this wine. The acidity is mild, or perhaps it is just a sensation due to the right amount of grapefruit (retail $12.99 - AVIN0522925835517 )

I'll admit, I have never been one to brag about having a green thumb. In fact, I was beginning to think that I was cursed to having a black thumb, considering all these years of failed attempts at trying to grow vegetables on my balcony. It seemed every year for the past four years had some kind of unusual weather pattern for our area. We had bouts of uncharacteristically hot months which killed all my veggies the first and second year I tried to garden(I think they boiled to death in their little pots). The following years they drowned to death from the record breaking high rainfalls, and finally, this year is different. We actually have tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow crookneck squash, and maybe we'll even get a bell pepper. The lettuce did pretty well and I knew that it would not last long in our planting zone, and as soon as they grew enough, we harvested and made a salad. So, it's with great relief that I can say that "I grew that" proudly this year, it and seems to have ended the "curse"(I hope). And believe me, it's true that food taste even better when you grow it yourself.

Strawberry Mesclun salad with Avocado and Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado- peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Place the sugar, oil, salt, and vinegar in a jar with a lid. Seal jar, and shake vigorously to mix.
  2. In a large bowl, mix salad greens, strawberries, avocado, and onion. To serve, toss with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts.
Serves 4-6
2008 Beso de Vino Macabeo
Macabeo is a Spanish white grape that is mostly blended with Xarel-lo and Parrellada for producing the sparkling Cava. In Rioja it is known as Viura and it is the main grape of their nicely aromatic whites, but in the regions western of Barcelona it is labeled as Macabeo (or Macabeu in Catalan) and it produces wines that are low in acidity and made for early consumption.
Tasting notes:
White flowers, citrus, mineral notes and faint white peaches open the nose of this fresh wine. On the palate it is silky with flavors of almond, lemon and a subtle fruitiness. It is low in acidity and it has some white pepper on the finish (retail $10.99 - AVIN5843151840492).