Monday, February 23, 2009

Crunchy Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

Sometimes I crave a really good salad. Not merely lettuce and cucumber, I'm talking a veggie-packed onslaught of crunchiness, full of vitamins and fiber. All it takes is picking out some good vegetables, whipping up a delicious home made salad dressing, and dinner is on the table. I found the inspiration for this one in Nigella Express, and changed up a couple of ingredients to make it a bit more budget-friendly.

This salad is great for a weeknight dinner, and if you make a large quantity you can take the leftovers for lunch the next day. The dressing is Asian-inspired, and the veggies are just plain fantastic. Feel free to add your favorite crunchy vegetables, or subtract out anything you don't like. Or if you want to make it a bit naughty, you could add some crispy won tons. Yum.

You'll notice that my "measurements" for the veggies are quite liberal. It's a salad, folks. No need for precision here.

Crunchy Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

adapted from Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Express"

serves 3-4


1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (more if you want extra spice)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon honey

pinch of salt

generous handful of broccoli florets cut into 1-inch pieces

a dozen or so slender green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

two generous handfuls of salad greens OR shredded napa cabbage
generous handful of bean sprouts

one can of baby corn cobs, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


1. Make the dressing by combining the first six ingredients in a glass jar or salad shaker and shaking vigorously.

2. Par-boil the green beans and broccoli for about 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain. Shock them in ice water to stop them from cooking too long, and to cool them off.

3. Put the greens/cabbage in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Top with bean sprouts, baby corn, broccoli and green beans. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss. Serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

This is a nice light weeknight supper that will leave you satisfied and full of that I've-just-been-done-good-to feeling. Enjoy!

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