I am not a vegetarian but sometimes I enjoy my salad without meat or seafood. The red hibiscus flowers are edible and have a mild taste. They will certainly brighten your dish. If you celebrate Christmas this would be one festive dish to serve your family and friends during the holiday season. It is simple, healthy and delicious!!
Red and Green Papaya Salad
2 C shredded papaya (please see How to Shred a Green Papaya post)
3 Thai or sweet basil leaves, chiffonade
3 red hibiscus flowers, chiffonade
Coarsely crushed Roasted Peanuts
Kaffir lime sauce (recipe to follow)
1) Arrange the papaya on a platter or dish.
2) Garnish with basil leaves, hibiscus flowers, and peanuts.
3) When ready to eat scoop out a portion onto a plate and drizzle with kaffir lime sauce to taste.
Kaffir Lime Sauce (makes approximately 3/4 cups)
4 T freshly squeezed lime juice
4 T sugar
2 1/2 T fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 t thinly sliced young kaffir lime leaves
1/8 t grated ginger
Hot chili (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well blended.
*Instead of peanuts you can certainly add other nuts or seeds such as roasted kukui nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, toasted sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds.
*If you prefer to substitute with another edible red flowers that would be fine. Nasturtium flowers would be a great substitute. You can certainly grow hibiscus in New Hampshire or Maine in pots (as house plants). If you are planning on eating the flowers be sure to avoid spraying pesticides.