A few weeks ago, as I wandered my local farmer’s market, I couldn’t help but notice all the sunny yellow produce calling my name - yellow beans, yellow squash, yellow peppers, golden cherry tomatoes, corn… (ok, so the corn was still in the husks, but I used my imagination). I scooped all the yellow veggies into my tote and dragged it home to recreate this lovely Yellow Salad we feasted nearly a year ago on while on safari in South Africa.
Tucked in the hills near Krueger National Park in South Africa is an enchanting little property called the Dulini Lodge. If you’ve ever dreamt of going on safari, save your pennies (for years if need be) and I assure you, it will be worth every bit of the splurge. Featuring a handful of posh rooms tucked into thatched roof cottages, and truly the loveliest hospitality I’ve ever experienced from a hotel, this is a magical property. There’s no mistaking you’re on a reserve, as nyala antelope wander past the breakfast buffet, elephants occasionally cool down by slurping from the swimming pool, and we were warned to be sure to lock our doors as the local baboons have worked out how to open the doors and are quite fond of the minibar.
Twice a day, we’d don khaki shirts and Indiana Jones hats and pile into open-top Land Rovers. Led by an exuberant guide and a keen-eyed tracker, we’d criss-cross miles of the park, on a quest to see every animal imaginable: lions, giraffes, leopards, zebra, impalas, rhinos - and my personal favorite - elephants. We didn’t just view these animals from afar. Our fearless guides drove alongside leopards and lions and right into herds of elephants and zebra so we were just a few feet away from these creatures. Because the animals at the reserve grow up with these Land Rovers buzzing about, they are utterly unfazed by them, so go about their day unperturbed by our snapping cameras (and general sense of wonder).
After the early morning treks, we’d head back to camp for some extraordinary food. So many dishes were stand-outs, but the color-themed salads were quite unlike anything I had eaten before. The green salad featured peas, herbs and green apples, a red salad (hello strawberries, watermelon, red peppers and radishes), and my personal favorite, this yellow salad. Featuring bright those yellow veggies plus chopped pineapple, and bathed in a bright turmeric-spiked dressing, it’s a sunny addition to any table.
I’ve failed to yet complete one photo album from my grown-up gap year. But I have managed to share an occasional culinary postcard in the form of recipes. I call that a win.
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
Adapted from a recipe from the Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sands Reserve South Africa
1 cup yellow peppers, diced
1 cup yellow beans, blanched (I found these at the market early in the summer, but couldn’t find them the week I was photographing the salad, so we’ll call these optional)
1 cup golden cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup blanched corn kernels
1 cup yellow squash, sliced thin and into half-moons
1 cup diced pineapple
½ red onion, diced
4 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon turmeric
Whisk all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette
Toss all the veggies in a large bowl. Drizzle in the the vinaigrette over the yellow veggies to taste (I didn’t use all of it), then serve.