Summer mode is upon us. I had a few prior commitments that were to happen over the course of the next few days that were cancelled, and while I'm bummed that I don't get to hang with sweet folks to play with our food, it means I get to have a few hours to play with food at my own house. And so today was the day! I had my good friend Jadwiga over this morning to chat about fermented things, and she introduced me to the deliciously sour jewel named Zur, a polish fermented grain beverage or flavour add-in made of ground up rye grains with garlic. A week from now, my homemade batch should be ready. Thanks Jaga for coming over and playing with me! Ah, friends. I am reminded time and again of the richness in this life.

And speaking of friends, our family was invited to join friends in an end-of-school-year-let's-usher-summer-in-in-style kind of shindig, and now, I am able to join them! Which means I got to play in the kitchen and come up with my own seaweed salad to bring to the potluck dinner. I am a big fan of seaweed; there are indications that we should include about a toonie sized piece of seaweed in our daily diet in order to get more minerals in our bodies. Seaweed is super rich in minerals like iodine (yay thyroid!), calcium and magnesium (my bones and nerves are happy!) and iron too (good energy support!). It is also a high protein food and has loads of vitamin C, which we all know is good for immune but also for helping us cope with stress, and good for skin to boot. What's not to love? I always go for a seaweed salad when out for a meal, if it's on the menu, I love it that much. But I had never attempted to make my own; it was part of the inspiration behind having a month of salads on the blog here, as I wanted to come up with an original for my yummy salad repertoire. I may have come up with something tasty!

Arame, soaking for 30 minutes for this Sesame Seaweed Cucumber salad

Arame, soaking for 30 minutes for this Sesame Seaweed Cucumber salad

The how-to: drop a whole 50g package of seaweed of your choice in a big enough bowl, knowing that the seaweed will at least double in size. I chose to soak a package of Arame seaweed, as it's already shredded in tiny strands. (I'm a bit lazy, see?) Cover the seaweed with enough filtered water, adding more as it swells in size if need be. Let it soak for minimum 30 minutes; drain the seaweed. You could reserve the water to use as a mineral-rich addition to your plant water or your garden or compost pile. Waste not, want not.

While it's soaking, you can pull out your mandoline slicer or knife if you've got mad knife skills, and chop finely into strands the following vegetables:

1 carrot, peeled

2-4 radishes, or a big chunk of daikon radish

2 small cucumbers

1 green onion

about 2 tbsp of chopped chives

handful of sorrel, julienned (optional - sorrel is a lemony-flavoured perennial green you can grow in your garden. Substitute spinach if you like, or arugula or omit entirely.)

1 tbsp of chopped pickled red onions or

For the dressing, add all ingredients to a jam jar and give it a good shake, and pour over salad:

1 tbsp sesame seed oil (toasted sesame oil is my favourite)

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tbsp coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce)

Add dressing to your salad, and toss to cover and let marinate for a bit in the fridge. To this, add 2 tbsp of sesame seeds you have toasted, for the crunch factor and extra calcium. And voila, you are ready for the potluck! Bon appetit mes amies, and welcome to summer for you all.

Seaweed Cucumber Sesame Salad

Seaweed Cucumber Sesame Salad