I recently discovered a great cook book, “Local Flavors,” by Deborah Madison. It’s a collection of recipes created around ingredients found at farmers markets across the United States. My favorite recipe so far is the Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Cilantro. This recipe was perfect for the the CSA’s giant head of heirloom cabbage. The ingredients can change with the seasons. In the summer I might add tomatoes and cucumber. This time I added spinach to the mix. The rest of the ingredients were already growing in my garden which made me especially happy. I topped the salad with left over chicken from the previous night. I have since made this recipe three additional times, using whatever cabbage the CSA gives me. Each time it’s been delicious.
Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Cilantro
adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
Serves 4-6 people
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1 tsp. peanut oil
1 large carrot
4 cups of thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup of thinly sliced lettuce
1 cup of thinly sliced spinach
3 scallions finely chopped
1/4 cup of cilantro
2 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons of basil leaves
(top with shredding chicken, steak, or serve by itself)
1/2 jalapeno chile, unseeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp of fresh finely chopped ginger (optional)
1/4 cup peanut oil
1. Peel or thinly chop the carrot
2. Thinly slice lettuce, cabbage, spinach and scallions
3. Finely chop basil and mint leaves.
4. Combine all in a large bowl and mix well.
5. Create the dressing by whisking jalapeno, rice vinegar, sugar, sea salt and peanut oil.
6. Heat peanuts in oil on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, remove once lightly browned. Blot excess oil. Sprinkle peanuts on salad right before serving.