Anyone else sharing a kitchen with a giant salad bowl, you know, one big enough to house a small child or a cornucopia of salad?
A couple of years back, we were gifted one by a niece who "knows" this kitchen almost as well as I – she and I work side-by-side for family parties, knowing exactly how to feed a pile of people in short order. What Laura also knows is that the typical family potluck can yield a buffetful of food with a surfeit of protein and sweets but bereft of a fresh green salad. So one day she walked in with said giant salad bowl (it's in the picture) and the greens, vegetables and dressing to fill it. Lo and behold? That salad was gone in no time: it turns out, all those sweets may be easy to "contribute" to a potluck but people appreciate some healthy options to actually "eat".
And much to my surprise, I pull out the salad bowl way more often than expected with as few as four of us for dinner, up to eight or ten. And you know what? A big salad bowl invites people to take big helpings of salad. All things in moderation, you know. Except salad. And maybe chocolate.
ALMONDS: RECIPES, HISTORY, CULTURE Today's recipe comes from Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture. Its authors Barbara Bryant and Betsy Fentress are from St. Louis and share a life-long fascination with almonds. The recipes were developed by one of my favorite food bloggers, Lynda Balslev of TasteFood.com. (Believe it or not, even though Lynda and I have never met, when I was stuck in San Francisco overnight some years back, she offered me bed and breakfast!) If you like hyper-focused cookbooks (I really do, you learn so much!) this one is definitely worth a look. The recipes are very do-able, call for fresh "real food" and accessible ingredients and don't weigh (ha!) toward the sweet side. I've got about ten recipes bookmarked, including a tuna salad with almonds, olive and capers in lettuce cups; a kale salad with quinoa, carrots and raisins; sautéed spinach with almonds, chickpeas and lemon; stir-fried beef and broccoli with almonds. On the sweet side, I've made the Moroccan Rice Pudding twice! Many thanks to the publisher Gibbs-Smith for a complimentary review copy. As always, the opinions are my own. [My Disclosure Promise]
RECIPE for ASIAN SLAW with SUGAR SNAP PEAS & ALMONDS
Time to table: 40 minutes
Makes 8 cups
1 clove fresh garlic
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Frank's Hot Sauce
1 "small" head Savoy cabbage, cored and sliced as fine as possible
1 red pepper, julienned
1 small jalapeño, minced
4 ounces sugar snap peas, cut on the diagonal
4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 large carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
A few small snowpeas, for garnish
ASIAN DRESSING In a small food processor, mix the dressing ingredients until well combined. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
ASIAN SLAW Combine all the slaw ingredients (except the cilantro, almonds and garnish) in an extra-large bowl. Can be prepped and refrigerated for several hours before serving.
BEFORE SERVING Up to two hours (or perhaps more, see below) before serving, toss the Asian Dressing with the Asian Slaw, really getting in there to distribute the dressing evenly. Stir in the cilantro and scatter the almonds over top. Garnish with snowpeas.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
THE PRICE OF LIMES, THESE DAYS C-r-a-z-y. I spent $1 apiece on two limes, knowing that there's a lime shortage which explains the price increase (usually limes are 5 for a $1) – and then the two of them yielded a scant tablespoon of juice, usually I'd get at least a tablespoon each, sometimes more. So I resorted to a squeeze bottle of lime juice, just $1.29 for 8 tablespoons. Was it as good as good lime juice? No. But it was just as good as the expensive limes that yielded virtually nothing. No mojitos this year.
NO ORANGE JUICE? We don't drink juices – the glycemic indices are too high – but for a long while, I've kept a small container of frozen orange juice concentrate in the freezer to dole out a frosty tablespoon at a time. Recently, I let it soften and poured it into a squeeze bottle: it's my "sweetener" of choice, a quick squeeze at a time, replacing refined sugar. Would it work for you, too? For this recipe, I used about a tablespoon of orange juice concentrate.
WHAT DOES "SMALL" MEAN, REALLY? I bought what I thought was a "small" Savoy cabbage. But there was b-a-r-e-l-y enough dressing for what turned out to be a full pound of grated cabbage. I suspect that "small" means half to three-quarters that. Now some people like barely-dressed slaw, if so, the dressing is just enough for a pound, if not, you'll want to adjust accordingly, either more dressing or less cabbage.
ALMONDS I used the slivered almonds that were on hand but sliced almonds, those are the ones where you can see the brown skins, would be better because they would be visible in the salad instead of just providing texture contrast.
DOES IT KEEP? The inspiring recipe suggested dressing the salad no sooner than two hours before serving but I quite liked this, leftover, 24 hours later when the dressing had soaked into the cabbage and vegetables a bit. I suspect something like eight to twelve hours might be my personal sweetspot. You will want to hold back the cilantro and almonds until just before serving.
SUBSTITUTIONS This is such a great basic recipe, easy to adapt. I can imagine substituting bok choy or Napa cabbage or regular green cabbage for the Savoy cabbage; tossing in edamame and asparagus bites; snow peas instead of sugar snap peas; and on and on. Aim for color, shape and texture contrast but have fun, mix it up!
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MORE FAVORITE VEGETABLE SALAD RECIPES
~ Summer Black-Eyed Pea Salad ~
~ Greek Bread Salad with Toasted Pita Chips ~
~ Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Alice Waters’ Coleslaw ~
~ Power Food Broccoli Salad ~
~ Bloody Mary Salad ~
~ more Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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