In 2013, after we finished our second peach season, we took off on a five-month trip around the world, including six weeks in India. We zigzagged across the country, starting in Kolkata and ending in New Delhi, with a visit to Nepal along the way. One evening, on a rooftop in the northern city of Varanasi, we ate a peanut salad that we still think about to this day. Creating one for this cookbook felt special—a nod to that extraordinary trip and something that we really wanted to get right. We think we did. The Thai chile and basil, which can be found at your local Asian market; the fish sauce, which contributes complex salty flavors to the dish; the fresh fruits tumbled together with the crunch of peanuts—this is the magic you long for in a summery side dish.
1 Thai chile, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 pound watermelon, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks (about 3 cups)
1 mango, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks (about 1 cup)
2 medium peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks (about 2 cups)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1. Whisk together the chile, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and shallot in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup in a separate small bowl.
2. Add the watermelon, mango, peaches, cucumber, basil, and mint to the large bowl, tossing well. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve with the reserved dressing on the side for dipping or drizzling.
Excerpted from The Peach Truck Cookbook by Jessica N. Rose and Stephen K. Rose. Copyright © 2019 by Stephen & Jessica Rose. Reprinted with permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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