Happy Friday everyone!
I love salad. Fresh, crispy greens with lots of veggies, maybe some lentils, cheese, garlicky dressing – delicious! And mixing it up is good, add some fruit or roasted veggies. But it took me a while to get used to eating salad the way the Senegalese make it. I mean, french fries on top of a salad? Lettuce covered in warm onion sauce? But let me tell you – it’s really good!
So here is a “recipe” for Senegalese salad, at least the way my counterpart makes it.
First, buy 2 heads of fresh lettuce from the small farm in your neighborhood. That’s doable, right?
Next fry up some potatoes, wedges, french fries, cubes – whatever catches your fancy!
And now for onion sauce – one of my favorite things about food in Senegal. Onion sauce is the next component that all Senegalese salads have. This sauce is similar to ones found in other dishes here, like Yassa for example. It combines chopped onions with a paste of pounded garlic, peppercorns, dried chiles, and bouillon cube and then mustard and vinegar. It is cooked down into a soft, tangy sauce that is wonderfully oniony.
Dressing for the Senegalese salad is very similar to the onion sauce in terms of ingredients, just in different proportions. Mustard, vinegar, onions, and the garlic paste.
For this salad my counterpart had a bunch of fish (and by a bunch I mean 14!) sent from Dakar by a relative, so we fried them up!
Time to assemble the salad!
So here’s the finished product. And instead of forks we use bread. You break off small pieces and scoop up some lettuce, onions, and fish and hopefully get it all the way to your mouth without spilling anything. Most of the time I fail at this. My counterpart does not. She’s a champ (in many ways more important than just eating salad more gracefully than me, but I still find this skill impressive and elusive).
This is another salad I ate with her, this time with tomatoes and no fish.
Now that Spring is reaching most other parts of the world where it’s not 105+ every day (not that I’m jealous…) why not try a Senegalese salad? You won’t walk away hungry!
Thanks for reading!