Exotic Summer Salad

Exotic Summer Salad

Exotic Summer Salad



Summer is the time when we prefer eating light and a fresh bowl of salad is just the perfect option to beat the Indian heat. Although this salad uses exotic ingredients sourced from non-Asian countries, I infused a bit of Asia (can’t help, it’s my nature!) in this recipe with two of my favourite Asian ingredients: Sambal Oleek and Plum Sauce. The portobello mushrooms are used raw. For those in this part of the world who never imagined eating raw mushrooms, let me tell you, these taste great even if eaten raw, provided that these have been treated with the right ingredients! My summer salad is a happy combination of portobello, cherry tomatoes, white asparagus, green asparagus and lettuce. I made a vegetarian version of ceviche with portobello mushrooms. The salad dressing is an unusual combination of ingredients and can also be used as a dip for your favourite snacks. Actually, I should have named this salad as Cosmopolitan Exotic Summer Salad, as its ingredients come from different parts of the world.


salad ingredients exotic.jpg


Have you ever tasted plum sauce mixed with Tahini, or Sambal oleek with oregano? Any combination tastes great if you know how much importance to give to each ingredient. This dressing has predominant notes of sweet-n-spicy sambal and sweet Chinese plum sauce, with undertones of tahini, oregano and lime juice. For this salad, the tossing with the dressing should be done softly and quickly, to avoid wilting of the vegetables.


Fresh asparagus spears are great in salads!

Fresh asparagus spears are great in salads!


Godrej Nature’s Basket recently gifted me a basket of exotic vegetables, stuffed with bundles of beautiful green asparagus spears, thick white asparagus, fresh cherry tomatoes on vine, Portobello mushrooms and lettuce. I used the white asparagus, but in shaved form. I shaved two plump white asparagus spears with a vegetable peeler. The green asparagus were not peeled, but used in the salad after chopping them roughly.


Cherry tomatoes on vine.

Cherry tomatoes on vine.


Apart from the buttery and crisp bread croutons, I cooked or steamed nothing, not even the mushrooms! My mushroom ceviche is made up with a good amount of lime juice and some chilli flakes and can be eaten separately too, if desired.


Mouth-watering Portobello mushrooms.

Mouth-watering Portobello mushrooms.

Shaved white asparagus.

Shaved white asparagus.



Exotic Summer Salad

Exotic Summer Salad


  • Portabello mushrooms (sliced thinly): 2
  • Green asparagus spears (roughly chopped): 12
  • White asparagus (shaved): 2
  • Lettuce (roughly torn): handful
  • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
  • Chilli flakes: ½ tsp
  • Cherry tomatoes (halved): 12
  • Sambal oleek (if not available, try replacing it with any chilli-based Asian sauce): 1.5 tbsp
  • Plum sauce: 1.5 tbsp
  • Dried oregano: ¾ tsp
  • Tahini: ½ tsp
  • Bread croutons: crisp-fried with butter
  • Minced garlic: ¼ tsp
  • Salt and sugar: optional


  1. Add the lime juice and chilli flakes to the sliced mushrooms. Cover and keep aside in the refrigerator for 30 min.
  2. Combine sambal, plum sauce, tahini and oregano in a bowl. Toss the sauce into the chopped salad vegetables. Add the shaved white asparagus and the Portobello mushroom ceviche at the end. Mix the contents in the salad bowl thoroughly, just before serving. Just before serving, add the croutons over the salad.



  • Deena Kakaya

    I like the use of shaved asparagus! X

  • Bam’s Kitchen

    Lovely salad Purabi. I thought at first your shaved white asparagus was thick rice noodles, just by looking at the photo. Lovely spices and vegetable medley. Take Care, BAM

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    Love the combination of mushrooms and asparagus in this salad – with all those sauces and spices, this sounds like a party in every mouthful!

  • Daniela

    Vitamins have never looked or tastes better than in this delicious salad!

  • kitchenriffs

    We’re eating loads of salads these days. This is such a good one! I love everything in it — definitely need to try it. Thanks.

  • http://justonecookbook.com/blog/ Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I’ve never cooked white aspraragus before, but those thinly sliced white asparagus look so pretty! And I’m a huge fan of portabello mushrooms!!! Already love this salad!

  • Kim – Liv Life

    Ooh!! That photo of the asparagus is simply stunning!! And that salad? I think I could eat it every day for a week and never tire of it. Well done!

  • Donalyn@The CreeksideCook

    This looks like a wonderful combination of ingredients – I especially love the two kinds of asparagus – so pretty and tasty! Donalyn from http://thecreeksidecook.com

  • Megha Sarin

    Amazing! I love the sauce combination..so innovative…Never heard of Sambal Oleek though..


  • http://curryandcomfort.blogspot.com/ Curry and Comfort

    I have been eating a lot of salad recently and this sounds like the next one to try.

  • TheKitchenLioness

    Wonderful spices, great condiments and fabulous, colorful vegetables – your exotic summer salad sounds like perfect early summer fare. And it looks awsome presented on a pretty plate like the one you used! Just fabulous food for this time of year.

  • http://www.culinaryflavors.gr/ Katerina

    I love this type of salad for a light lunch especially now that is summer here!

  • Two Healthy Kitchens

    What a fabulously creative salad! I love the idea of portobello ceviche, and the shaved white asparagus is just beautiful! Oh – and the dressing is really intriguing – plum sauce and sambal oleek with tahini and oregano?!?! Wow! What bold and exciting flavors! Great recipe! :D ~Shelley

  • Amelia

    Hi Purabi, thanks for sharing this refreshing salad. It look very inviting, great for our current heat wave. Your photography skill is very impressive. 2 thumbs up for you.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Kim | a little lunch

    Purabi, I’m soooo late in commenting on your exotic salad, but love your idea to rename it Cosmopolitan Exotic Summer Salad — yes! It definitely captured my attention with its array of flavors. We’re just headed into the hot season here and this sounds entirely refreshing!