Banana-blossom salad with pineapple-chilli dressing

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

This crisp, textured salad is brought to life with a pineapple-chilli dressing. Use a slightly underripe pineapple for extra tartness, and add as much chilli as you can stand.

  • 1 banana blossom
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup each (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint and coriander
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) bean sprouts
  • 200 gm underripe pineapple, thinly sliced
  • 1 red or golden shallot, thinly sliced
  • To serve: fried shallots and fried chilli prawns (optional; see note)
  •  
  • Pineapple-chilli dressing
  • 3 red birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 200 gm underripe pineapple, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
01   For pineapple-chilli dressing, pound chillies, garlic and sugar to a paste with a mortar and pestle, add pineapple and coarsely crush, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and set aside.
02   Peel away purple outer leaves of the banana blossom and larger fingers between leaves until you get to the pale opaque heart. Shave heart on a mandolin or thinly slice with a sharp knife, then place in a bowl of iced water mixed with vinegar and stand to crisp (4-5 minutes). Drain well and combine in a bowl with herbs, bean sprouts, pineapple and shallot. Drizzle with pineapple-chilli dressing, toss to combine and serve scattered with fried shallots and fried chilli prawns.

Note Fried chilli prawns are available from select Asian grocers.

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