Monday, January 20, 2020

When The Weather Gets Cold, Find The Sun In A Salad Bowl

   It's been rainy, gloomy, foggy, damp, dank and all the other winter weather descriptions we get out here in Northern California, but at least we're currently cold and NOT on fire. After seeing the horrific destruction in Australia we're grateful over here for small mercies. When the weather gets cold in California we're not as cold as my in-laws back east get, but we're plenty cold for us, and cold weather doesn't always have to mean soups or stews. Sometimes one just has to look into a salad bowl to find a little sunshine, and the bright colors and snappy flavor of this Thai Salad made with winter vegetables can save the day.

  We eat a lot of greens around here. Cabbage, kale, chard, are abundant right now, and so are  mangoes. The mangoes are at their best price right now so if you make mango chutney, now's the time to start canning. There's more to mangoes than chutney however, and they really know how to work it in this salad. So, if you can't find any sunshine or bright colors out the window, try looking for them in your salad bowl with this simple Thai  salad.

 Thai Salad

Here's What You Need:

2 cups of thinly sliced Kale
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 and 1/2 cups of thinly sliced red cabbage
1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
1 mango cubed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
8 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup of raw peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1/3 cup of peanut butter, your choice chunky or smooth
2 Tbs lime juice
3 Tbs honey
1 and 1/2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp kasmiri chile or a combo or cayenne and paprika mixed
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 Tbs water

Here's What To Do:


Mix all the salad ingredients together (doesn't get simpler than that) and set it aside.

Put the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, chili, ginger, shallot and water in a blender.
Puree until it's all smooth and creamy.
If you need more water to smooth things out, add it.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the dressing with the salad and serve it up.  Like I said super simple, super sunny, and very tasty.

This is the base, but feel free to add whatever else you'd like, or sub any vegetable, bok choy, savoy cabbage, whatever looks good. You name it. I've never put any meat or fish in this dish but I'm pretty sure that shrimp or chicken would  work great. Either way, it's a shot of Summer in the heart of Winter and don't we all need that once in a while.  Coming up next, a fast go to pasta dish that's in regular rotation at our house.  Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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