We all are yearning for Spring and our palates have started to chime in. Peter and I love the heavy stews, roasts, and soups of winter but enough already. We're pining for bright colors and flavors and are going to use this recipe for Thai Crunch Salad to satisfy those cravings.
Bright, crisp purple cabbage, orange carrots, red pepper, and the varied greens of cucumber, scallions and endamame tossed with a creamy peanut dressing packed with Thai flavors. This will be perfect with the Crispy Chicken Thighs we're planning on having tonight, or if you're inclined serve it with Honey, Lime & Sriracha Chicken Skewers (yum). The prep for this salad may seem like a lot of work but really if you keep the salad and the dressing separate, you can keep them in the refrigerator and assemble them on a moment's notice to accompany roast chicken or turkey, sautéed fish, or even a hamburger. Easy and tasty at your finger tips.
"Mise en Place" for the Thai Crunch Salad © 2014 Claudia Ward
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
For the Thai Peanut Dressing
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2½ tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
For the Salad
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (add a little shredded red cabbage for color)
1 cup prepared shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
For the dressing: Combine all of the ingredients except the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the salad: Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn't get soggy.
Thanks once again to Jenn Segal at Once Upon a Chef.