It is a loose organic tea, called Yerba Mate and it is a holly tree native to the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. It's antioxidant properties are higher than green tea, so I was sold on it.
I brewed a big batch for my husband's ice tea and as it sat steeping and developing color and aroma my mind was racing on ways to use this with food.
I had just received a big bag of cucumbers from a friends garden and I had my Vanilla Bean sea salt on the counter - Shazam...an idea was born!
I decided to make a unique and delicate dressing with the Yerba Mate tea, extra virgin olive oil, a splash of vinegar and Vanilla Bean sea salt!
1) 2-3 cucumbers
2) 1/2 orange
3) 1/4 cup of brewed and steeped tea (your choice)
4) 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
5) 1/4 teaspoon of raw organic apple cider vinegar (or your choice)
6) 2-3 pinches of Vanilla Bean sea salt (or to taste)
I decided to make cucumber ribbons to match the delicate nature of the dressing. With a vegetable peeler remove the dark green skin on the cucumbers. Then slowly peel your cucumber with a bit of pressure to obtain ribbons the length of your cucumber. Rotate and continue peeling off ribbons until you get to the seeds, then stop. You will have enough for an elegant side dish. You can use the remaining cucumbers cut up in disks or use in your juicer.
Cut your navel orange in half, peel and dice into small chunks. Mix into your cucumber ribbons.
Dressing: Whisk your olive oil, tea, vinegar and sea salt together to get all ingredients blended together.
Pour your dressing over the cucumber ribbons and oranges and sprinkle lightly with Vanilla Bean sea salt!
This dish is simple, healthy, quick and elevated! All of the delicate exotic flavors mingle together and bathe the ribbons. The Vanilla Bean sea salt makes a huge impact on pulling all of the ingredients together with the delightful vanilla flavor and sea salt punch, it would not be the same without it.