Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Caribbean Salad a la Paseo

** Due to a disaster involving Cleo's altercation with an avocado cake, Lucy will step in today for Cleo. Cleo will reveal all on Lucy's usual Thursday!**

LUCY BURDETTE: Even Kenny Chesney said it when he performed at a free concert at the Hogs Breath Saloon a couple of weeks ago: It's hard to choose healthy foods in Key West! (Actually, I don't think it's only Key West--it's eating out everywhere.) 

Anyway, there's a new restaurant in town that used to be the Paradise Cafe, where we bought our Cafe Con Leche in the morning and our Cuban mix sandwiches at lunch. It's now called Paseo.

Hayley is going to review this restaurant in the book I'm currently writing, MURDER WITH GANACHE (2/2014). Of course she has to order a little of everything, including the fat and juicy Caribbean roll and the roast pork dinner. But I always enjoy the Caribbean salad so I decided to try making the dish myself. It's not only colorful and healthy and easy--it's delicious!

Caribbean Salad a la Paseo

2-3 skinned chicken filets
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp soy sauce

Red cabbage, shredded
Cooked beets, slivered
Cilantro, cleaned and chopped

Mix together the sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce, and marinate the chicken filets in a glass bowl--an hour at least or even overnight. Grill the chicken until just done and set aside.

Wash and dry the lettuce, tear into pieces, and put a nice amount on each plate as the bottom layer. (I included some arugula and red leaf lettuce, but Paseo uses romaine.) Cut about a quarter of the red cabbage into slivers and layer than in next. Cut cooked beets into matchsticks and put them on top. Tomatoes and avocado are not part of the Paseo dish, but I added some around the edges. Cut the chicken into strips and place them on top of the salad.

 Cover all that with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, to taste. And serve with vinaigrette. 

Vinaigrette: 1 teaspoon French mustard (don't use the yellow stuff!), 3 tablespoons vinegar (red wine or balsamic), 6 tablespoons good quality olive oil, splash of water. Whisk it all together until emulsified, taste to see if it needs salt.

I bet even Kenny Chesney would love this! And we can't wait to hear about the avocado cake...

TOPPED CHEF will be on bookshelves on May 7 with more Key West adventures and food...In the meanwhile, you can preorder the book here.  

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And I almost forgot--there is a contest going on at my Facebook page this week with books and a gift certificate to a bookstore as prizes--click here for the details and to enter! 



  1. Lucy/Roberta - I could dive right into this salad! Your WIP sounds like great fun. I have to envy your food critic Hayley, eating a little bit of everything on menus, including that roast pork dinner. My kind of job! (Hey, wait a minute, I have that kind of job--and so do you.... :))

    As for the avocado cake, I wrestled it to the ground, cuffed it, and read out its Miranda rights. Glad to see your avocados are much better behaved.

    ~ Cleo

    P.S. Absolutely love your photo of everyone taking photos. Was the Kenny concert fun?

  2. Thanks Cleo! The Kenny Chesney concert was fantastic! We could walk over to it, charge was...nothing, and he played and sang all the crowd favorites for almost two hours. I think he was recording a music video for his new tour, so they asked folks not to put the day on Youtube. How many do you think listened???

  3. Wow, Lucy, this is a fabulously colorful salad. I'm not a beet person, but I know lots of people who are. Think I'd probably switch those out with extra tomato and yum!

    What fun to go to a free concert that you actually enjoyed!


    Daryl / Avery PS Cleo, sorry about the disaster. I've had plenty of those myself. :)

    1. I know, Daryl, beets and cilantro can be controversial--either you love them or hate them. I love both, but you couldn't go wrong with more tomatoes!

  4. The salad looks fantastic...although I'm not a fan of beets...or raw tomatoes (don't shoot me). I do love cilantro. However, I really stopped giving my full attention after reading the words Cuban Sandwich. I sooooooo want one now.

  5. This sounds super healthy -- and fabulous! I love everything in it, but I'm not a cilantro fan. Isn't that weird? Seems like people love it or hate it. I'm sure it doesn't make the salad, though. Yum!