Spicy Peanut Summer Slaw

June 19, 2011

I’ve lived for most of my life in the mid-west, but after high school, I moved for nearly 4 years to the absolute southern tip of Texas. At first I loved it. Hundreds of miles from home, my first “big adventure”, and all the tropical weather I could ever want.  However, around the 12 month mark I began to realize that paradise was imperfect. Sure, the (palm) trees and grass were always green, the sun always shone, and my tan didn’t fade. The problem, you might ask? Well…the trees and grass were ALWAYS green, the sun ALWAYS shone, and my tan NEVER faded. It was as though we lived in a gradient of only one season: summer.

I never realized how experiencing each season made the highs and lows so much richer. Here in Iowa, I live for the life-giving change of winter to spring. And is there anything more invigorating than the crisp winds of late September and October after a long and scorching summer?

In my kitchen and in regards to the foods I prepare, the change of season I relish the most is the change to summer. After so many months of root vegetables, roasts, braises, and hearty soups, I begin having deep yearnings for a fresh and vibrant salad. Last week I prepared this salad alongside bone-in pork chops for the mister and myself and the only mistake in the recipe is that it prepares too little. I want to eat this every day, all day. As it was, between the two of us, we stretched this coleslaw-esque salad about a day and a half. Next time, I’m doubling the recipe.  Here it is:

Spicy Peanut Summer Slaw (inspired by this recipe at I Made That!)

Peanut Dressing:

1/3 cup peanut oil (I didn’t have peanut oil, so we used a mix of sesame seed and extra virgin olive oil)

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

Juice of 1 lime

Fish sauce, to taste

Whisk all of the above ingredients together with a fork in a bowl large enough to contain the whole salad. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables for the salad.

Salad:

1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced

2 large carrots, shredded on cheese grater

6 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped

salt to taste

1/2 cups roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Once all the veg has been sliced, chopped, or grated, toss it all (except the peanuts) together in the bowl of dressing and adjust the seasonings to taste. When serving, garnish each salad with a handful of chopped peanuts. And then eat it up and revel in the summery awesomeness of it all!

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One Response to “Spicy Peanut Summer Slaw”

  1. Kathleen Anne Crouse said

    It sounds really really good. I enjoyed your seasonal insights too. I still have reservations about the length of time the gray tail end of winter hangs aroung :)

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