Recipe: Fermented Sencha Tea Leaf Salad

salad2Looking to shake up your salads? This is such a delicious way to get your green tea and your greens! Crunchy, tart, and wholesome, this is a traditional Burmese dish that you can make right at home.

Ingredients:
Tea Leaf Dressing:
– 1/2 cup Choice Organic Teas Sencha Loose Leaf Tea
– 3 cloves garlic
– 2-3 inch piece of ginger, diced
– 1/2 large shallot clove
– 1 Tbsp sesame oil
– 2 Tbsp oil (vegetable, avocado, peanut, grapeseed all work)
– 3 Tbsp lemon juice
– 2 Tbsp white vinegar
– 2 Tbsp fish sauce
– 1 tsp salt

Salad:
– 2 large handfuls of leafy greens (romaine, kale, spinach, etc)
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
– 1/2 cup toasted peanuts
– 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
– 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
– 1/4 cup lentils (cooked and lightly fried)
– 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
– peanut oil
– sesame oil
– 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions:
Dressing:
1. At least ONE DAY IN ADVANCE: prepare Sencha tea leaves by steeping them for 10 minutes in a large bowl with water slightly under boiling.
2. Once steeped, strain with a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.
3. Place the tea leaves back in the bowl and cover in cold water. Let sit for 1 hour.
4. Using a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth, strain the leaves again and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
5. In a food processor, combine tea, garlic, ginger, shallot, sesame oil, vegetable oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and fish sauce. Process until the texture of pesto, scraping down the sides when necessary.
6. Place tea leaf dressing mixture in an airtight container, refrigerate for at least a day before using.
Salad:
7. When you’re ready to make your salad, start by frying the garlic in a little bit of peanut oil until lightly browned. Remove and place on paper towel. Put aside.
8. Cook the lentils. Once cooked, lightly fry in remaining peanut oil used for garlic. Remove and put aside.
9. Assemble your salad – on a very large platter or dish out individual portions in large bowls. 10. Start with a bed of greens and lay tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lentils, and fried garlic around the perimeter of the bowl, placing the fermented green tea dressing in the center.
11. Squeeze lemon and drizzle sesame oil over the salad before serving.
12. Before eating, mix salad together thoroughly. Serve with a lemon wedge.

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