The other morning, I had a meeting at Hospital Nacional Dos de Mayo, my first time at this major referral hospital in Lima. All hospitals are large, confusing, and designed to stymie visitors. Dos de Mayo was no exception. Not only was I running late since I had gotten into an argument about the fare with a taxi driver, I had never been there before and didn’t actually know the name of the department to which I was going.
Dos de Mayo is a surprisingly pretty complex, set around a giant sunburst of a building with far-flung, pastel plastered outbuildings clustered in every direction. I know, because I walked the whole property. Twice. Arriving 40 minutes late to my meeting, the doctor informed me that the nurse I needed to see wasn’t there and then asked me to wait. So I did. For 4 hours. I learned how to play Snake on my phone. Also something called Riches. I think they’re games from the early 90s since they were the only ones preloaded on my super-cheap Peruvian phone.
When I eventually got home, I was bored, starving, and ready to speak any language but Spanish, so I made salad.
This is a super light, delightfully festive dinner. The dressing is tart and puckery, so use a sweet assortment of fruits and make sure to include some cheese or cured meats to provide a balance to the lime and greens. The limes here are the small, slightly bitter, aromatic limon sutil but any lime will give you an approximation of the flavor.
Salad with Lime Dressing
Allow 15 minutes. Serves 2 for dinner.
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of lettuce
1/2 cup each chopped papaya, starfruit, avocado & pepino melon
2 tablespoons passionfruit seeds
2 tablespoons goat cheese
2 slices of jamon serrano or prosciutto
Lime wedges for serving
In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil and pulse until well blended, with just a little bit of chunkiness from the onions still remaining. With the blender on low, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste, and adjust with honey, salt, or lime juice as needed.
Tear up the head of lettuce and divide between two plates. Evenly divide the fruits, cheese, ham, and passionfruit seeds over the lettuce and drizzle with the salad dressing. Serve with lime wedges at the table.