Asian Peanut Salad

A few weeks ago I signed up up for an organic fruits and vegetables delivery with Jardin des Anges. I am loving their service and the variety I get every week, and for the most part I make it through my week’s worth of produce. This past week however, due to a number of social engagements, my tastesbuds have been dining out more often than not. I was stuck with an array of leftover vegetables that needed to be consumed asap, especially considering a new delivery was already on its way!

All that was to say that this recipe really is all about the dressing and spices used to macerate the salad. The rest is all up to you, so feel free to throw in everything but the kitchen sink.

Asian Peanut Butter Dressing

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used the crunchy and unsweetened kind)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce (can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
  • 1-3 tbsp hot water

I am going to save you some frustration here. Before you even get started with making the dressing, make sure that your peanut butter is soft and oozy, by either warming it on the warm zone of your stove top, in a double-boiler or in a microwave. This will make the process of combining the other ingredients easier – trust me on this one, it took me a while to figure it out!

Once your peanut butter is soft, stir in the other ingredients except for the hot water. If you are having trouble obtaining a smooth and soft consistency, this is where the hot water comes in. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until the dressing is smooth and creamy. You want to obtain the consistency of honey, but without the stickyness. In my case I needed to add three tablespoons of hot water.

For the salad:

  • Any vegetables sliced and diced, 4 to 6 cups
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Chinese all spice
  • A pinch of salt
  • Scallions and cilantro to garnish
These are the vegetables that I had on hand:
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • Carrots, thinly sliced
  • Celery, cut on a bias
  • Red bell pepper, diced
  • Zucchini, julienned
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Baby spinach
When using a wide variety of vegetables the colour make the dish look great but also play around with different types of cuts. As you can see from my list, some were chopped, sliced and diced , while other were shredded or julienned. Toss the vegetables together with the lemon juice and spice. Let the flavours macerate. When you are ready to eat, stir in the peanut butter dressing and garnish with fresh cilantro and scallions.
 
Aside from any vegetables, you can also add some fruit (I’m thinking mango, pineapple or grapes would work nicely), rice noodles, grilled chicken, shrimp, nuts, seeds…anythign you want.
 
If you want to share your favorite combination of this salad, submit a photo and email me at:
 
kristelskitchen{at}hotmail{dot}com
 
 
 
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