green-mango-salad-2Come summer, a simple equation pops up with increasing frequency: Summer + heat = Lots of salads. Given that the past week led to scorching days in the upper 30s (which, in Toronto, is really, really hot), and given that we don’t have air conditioning at home, this equation more or less became Summer + heat + total inability to move = Nothing but salads.

The last part of the equation – the total inability to move – sort of meant that I was way too lazy to do anything but the basics. But even I got tired of tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese cubes and balsamic vinegar, which was my staple. Changing up the ingredients alleviates the boredom, but it’s the balsamic vinegar (or any kind of vinegar) that I couldn’t escape.

Then one day, when it was only 32C (ha), I decided to do something different, and tried a Thai mango salad. Online recipes varied a lot, but the main dressing ingredients seemed to be lime juice, fish sauce, parsley/coriander/basil, and sugar. And voila! A new dressing that I couldn’t get enough of, mainly because of the fish sauce.

I’d never used it before, because it sounded really…well, fishy. But it’s nice when used judiciously. I’ve been chucking in chili sauce and sesame oil, and just about anything that’s in the kitchen, and it has definitely enlivened my diet.

What’s your ingredient of the moment?

– Jean AAR