Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Q: Is there anything exciting about cabbage?

A: Why yes, there is.

I have secretly stashed a cabbage in the back of my vegetable drawer for the last 4 weeks. We received it over a month ago in our CSA box, and I don’t think my husband has even noticed. What can a woman do with this dauntingly enormous vegetable? After putting it off for an embarrassingly long time, I decided to come up with a game plan. The result: I decided to use it in my Thai spring roll salad. The cabbage worked beautifully by adding a satisfying crunch to every bite.

This is a salad I invented when after making a plate of spring rolls I threw all of the left over ingredients into a big bowl. The next day I used the peanut dipping sauce as a salad dressing, and declared it a master piece. The following recipe is meant to be more as a guideline rather than a recipe. I always add and subtract ingredients, depending on what I have stashed in the back of my vegetable drawer. The result is a healthy, light, and delicious meal. The salad keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (undressed).

Salad: • 1 ½ cups diced cabbage leaves • 3 carrots, grated • ½ head romaine lettuce, chopped • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped • 3 tablespoons chopped mint • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro • 3 tablespoons chopped basil • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions • 2 cups rice or mung bean noodles (softened)

Peanut Dressing:
• peanut butter • lime juice • soy sauce • warm water • thai sweet chili sauce • rice vinegar • saracha (rooster sauce) • sesame oil • fresh grated ginger

In proportions of your taste, mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine salad ingredients. Stir in enough peanut dressing to coat, but not drown, the salad. Enjoy.

*Good options for adding protein are shrimp, chicken, and tofu.

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