27 (Wed) April 2011
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
4 points, 1 for each component.
1. I was inspired to make this salad upon discovering roma tomatoes, a rarity in Korea, at my neighborhood market. Still on the vine, they’re blood red and absolutely gorgeous. More important, they have a chewy density and rich sweetness that local tomatoes tend to lack.
2. By coincidence, on The Naked Chef a couple days ago, Jamie Oliver was making some kind of salad with fresh mozzarella and noted a preference for breaking the cheese into chunks to give it a rustic feel, as opposed to slicing it, which he thought makes it look “plasticky.” Hence, the crumbly looking cheese here (it looked better in person -the photo was a bit overexposed).
3. Not a true caprese salad without fresh basil, but the balsamic vinaigrette had dried basil in it, so close enough.
4. E-Mart, one of the country’s largest supermarket/department store chains and my family’s main source of groceries and sundries (they even sell camping gear), has been making notable efforts to diversify their non-Korean food selection. On a daily basis, just with respect to produce, they now offer lemons, limes, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs (e.g., basil, rosemary, parsley, cilantro), celery, and … romaine lettuce. These items were virtually unattainable outside of specialty import stores, Costco, or the black market as recently as a couple years ago.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)