One day in Da Lat was enough to eat a lot of amazing street food (the earlier the better) and try out new Vietnamese desserts, drink morning coffee with local men, stay at a hostel run by the craziest and most welcoming family and where they make family meals and encourage spooning your neighbor by putting the beds very close to each other.
When the carrots were roasting in the oven and the scent of garlic mixed with cumin and coriander spread through the house, when the oranges were segmented and when the slices of perfectly ripe avocado were mixed with a little bit of olive oil, orange juice and salt, I had my hopes set high.
But I was still overwhelmed when I took my first bite. The combination of different spices, flavors, textures and temperatures took me completely by surprise and knocked me off my feet.
I ate this salad with a friend, but not a single word was spoken during lunch, we were too busy enjoying the salad and going for seconds and thirds.
Last winter when I was all homesick and feeling down I bought a new cookbook to cheer myself up, even though I knew I had to wait at least half a year before having the opportunity again to be back in the kitchen.
This Heston Blumenthal cookbook has recipes that are, compared to his other recipes, quite doable to prepare at home, but almost all the recipes require various complicated steps and fairly advanced cooking skills. So to play it safe I started with the easiest recipe from the book, it’s actually so easy that I’m a bit embarrassed that from all the adventurous and challenging recipes in the book I chose this recipe that even the biggest douche could make in his sleep.
But I know why I chose this recipe to be the first one: Heston Blumenthal calls this his secret vice. And if one of the best chefs in the world, someone who can create the most amazing and complicated dishes, calls a simple prawn cocktail his secret vice, all the adventurous recipes have to wait cause this will simple salad had to be put on top of the list.