Posted by: Rachel | June 24, 2015

a verdant season

I haven’t been blogging recently because:
I needed to work in my yard
I needed to mow the lawn (again)
It was too rainy
It was too hot
I was busy with friends/family/work

Well, I guess I’m out of excuses.

Honestly, I’ve just not been in the mood. When friends ask what I’ve been doing I answer “mostly not blogging”. I really have been busy, though, and my “yard work” excuses are certainly true! I don’t remember ever being this close to July and seeing such a green, lush, world here in central Texas.

We’ve had rain.

That’s a bit of an understatement, actually. We’ve had Texas style all-or-nuthin’ downpours that caused some serious flooding in the area. I came through fine, others were not so lucky.

But I’m not here to talk about weather-related chaos and destruction, I’m here to give us a taste of some of what I’ve been eating and enjoying these past few weeks. Yes, *us* – I’m hoping to get myself geared up and excited about blogging again as well. So.

The big news is that I discovered that Austin has a Burmese grocery. Yup! When I was in California a few months ago my friends took me out for Burmese. Mmm… “Order whatever you like”, they told me, “we are having tea salad”. Really?

Oh yes. Tea salad, a mixture of greens, tomatoes, crunchy bits including fried garlic slices, peanuts, and sesame seeds, and a dollop of what looks like slightly oxidized pesto. That’s the “tea” part. Oh mmmmmmm!

This “dressing” tastes a bit like a mild spinach pesto with a slightly tannic aftertaste of black tea. I can’t really describe it any better than that but it sure is good! I have been reading up on it and several sites claim that you can make your own if you don’t have a Burmese grocery or restaurant to hand. I haven’t tried this yet, but I promise I will and I’ll report my findings. In the mean time, I’m buying mine here:

Burmese grocery

9010 N IH-35 and worth the drive!

It comes in two sizes. I bought the smaller (well, several of them actually) as I wasn’t sure how it would keep once open. And happily each container comes with a small bag of the crunchy bits as well. Here’s all it takes:

Homestyle Tea Salad
(for 3 or 4)

several leaves of Romaine or other sturdy lettuce
a few nice flavorful tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh herbs (cilantro and mint is nice)
a dollop of “tea salad dressing”
a bit of the crunchy bits

Mix all, add a bit more of the crunchy bits on top, and enjoy.

salad with dressing on side


finished salad

see the little “crunchy bits”?


Now here’s that part I bet they didn’t intend. I mean, it is a salad dressing, right? Well, yes it is, but I also have been putting a spoonful in my lunch-time smoothies. The dressing by itself it slight salty, sort of green-tasting, and I think it is a lovely compliment to a fruit and veg smoothie. And, (of course, this might be just my imagination) it seems to give me a bit of a mid-afternoon boost. Caffeine? Maybe…

In any event, eat it, drink it, enjoy it! I will try making my own “dressing” and I’ll let you know if I can get close! Meantime, I hope to see y’all sooner rather than later. I will try to stay in touch better, I promise! Hope you are all having a fine start to summer… until next!



  1. Hey Rachel,
    Happy to hear we provided some inspiration and that you found a source for the tea leaves! Come back anytime for inspiration or just another excuse to not blog!

  2. You had way too much rain in Texas but I’m sure you are welcoming all the green side effects. 🙂

  3. […] if you are lucky enough to live in a town that has a Burmese market you can make a fine tea salad. This is usually made with romaine but I figured I could change it up […]

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