Okay so here’s the thing. I am originally from Pakistan and well… traditionally back in the motherland we aren’t so big on raw food i.e. salad. The only ‘traditional’ salad is ‘kachumbar’, a desi spin on pico de gallo. It basically involves some chopped cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, green chilies with a hefty amount of lemon or vinegar and a little salt/pepper.
But this salad – or rather this dressing – this dressing changes everything. I could eat it with anything and everything and had this immensely irrationally urge to hoard it and sit in my closet and eat it all (with the actual salad itself ofcourse). It admittedly has a lot of parts, but they come together so beautifully (and quickly) that I would – and will – make this ten times over. The velvetiness of the peanut butter, the sweetness of the brown sugar, the tartness of the lime – it’s a big ol’ party in my mouth.
At this point I realize it’s a little odd to gush about salad dressing so much, but trust me, this is 100% gushworthy. The recipe is from the amazing blog Once Upon a Chef. I made some changes to the greens, but out of convenience more than anything else which is why I am posting the recipe as it was originally written.
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
Thai Peanut Dressing:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2-1/2 tablespoons sugar (I used brown)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
1 cup prepared shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
Line up all the ingredients, pull out your blender and combine everything but the cilantro in the blender until smooth. Then, add your cilantro and pulse a few times – too much and you will have a green dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve
For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.