Summer can’t come soon enough – the heat of sun on my shoulders, the way my skin smells with sunscreen on, hot evenings under the stars. So today we’re going to Samoa.
There’ll be drippy sweetness: papaya and cantaloupe. There’ll be richness, too – buttery avocado and moody – almost bitter – spinach.
And to finish it all off? A puckering of lime juice – as bright as a Samoan seascape.
Typically known for rich, coconut milk-laden recipes, this Samoan salad is a healthier twist on island fare. The version I based mine on even won a Samoan recipe challenge!
I chose this salad for sentimental reasons – something to set the scene a bit for the release of my new book Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness. I went to Samoa 2 months before I was born (as a real life stowaway, I suppose). Scientists believe our taste preferences can be affected by what our mother’s ate while we were gestating. I like to think I carry a bit of Samoa with me today.
It was an odd beginning, I suppose – being swept halfway around the world before ever being born.
But it’s all I know.
When you read my story, you’ll understand why it’s walks the line of bitter-sweet.
Just like this salad.