Who amongst us doesn’t love a tea party? Ever since Alice tumbled down a rabbit hole, discriminating revellers have been hosting all types of afternoon teas, complete with dainty sandwiches, cupcakes, and of course, tea.
Now that spring is bidding us au revoir, and summer is gearing up with gifts of lazy sunny afternoons in gardens and parks, you might want to think about hosting an iced tea party of your own, one that carries on the tradition, but also focuses on healthy eating, and healthy iced tea. Let’s face it, store bought iced teas are often full of sugar and artificial flavourings.
Not so with Pure Leaf Iced Tea. Pure Leaf is real ice tea; brewed from real tea harvested from plantations in South America, Africa and India, and made with no preservatives, artificial colourings or flavourings, the perfect refresher to serve with your afternoon lunch, brunch or party.
And who better to give you some tips on what to serve with your ice teas, and what culinary delights go best with a bright assortment of teas, than Toronto native Gail Simmons.
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert and judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef, now in its 12th successful season, as well as the head critic on Top Chef Masters. She is special projects director at Food & Wine, and the author of Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. And now she has come up with some great ideas on livening up your afternoon tea.
Here are just a few delicious recipes and tea “pairings” that should make your day, courtesy of Pure Leaf and Gail Simmons.
Vietnamese Slaw with Peanuts and Cilantro
Paired with Pure Leaf Not Too Sweet Honey Green Tea
For the dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 large shallot, finely sliced
For the slaw:
1/2 head small red cabbage
1/2 head small Napa cabbage
2 medium carrots
2 mini seedless cucumbers
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 small Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
Begin by making the dressing so the shallots have time to marinate. In a large mixing bowl combine everything except the shallots and whisk together. Place shallots in the dressing and set aside.
Using a mandolin or a food processor with the slicer and grater attachments, finely slice the cabbages, radish and cucumber. Grate the carrot and separate the cilantro leaves. Core the apples and finely slice to yield thin half–moons. Place everything into a mixing bowl with the dressing and sliced shallot and toss together well.
Serve slaw topped with chopped peanuts and extra cilantro leaves. Pair with a bottle of Pure Leaf Not Too Sweet Honey Green Tea.
Plum, Mint & Pea Salad with Tea Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings
For the salad:
1 bunch arugula, washed
1/2 pound snap peas, trimmed, stringed, cut in half on diagonal
1/4 cup mint leaves, packed
2 ripe plums, sliced
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place arugula in a large serving bowl. Add snap peas and mint, and gently toss. Top with plums, nuts and crumbled goat cheese if desired.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and tea. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly to emulsify. Add salt and pepper, and combine.
Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Divide among four plates to serve.