Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Asian Salad (aka Thai Coleslaw)

This salad is so yummy! I have made it several times since I got the recipe a few weeks ago. My sister-in-law pretty much made this up. I would have to say it's one of my favorite recipes I've shared on this blog. Yum!

6 T rice vinegar
6 T vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
5 T creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 T minced garlic
3 T soy sauce
3 T (packed) golden brown sugar
2 T minced fresh ginger (be sure to peel it first)

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl to blend. (Dressing can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Let it stand at room temperature 30 minutes before using.)

Matchstick cut the following:

5 C thinly sliced red cabbage
5 C thinly sliced green cabbage
8 large green onions (I just cut these in slices)
2 large red or yellow bell peppers (I use one of each because I like that it makes the salad more colorful)
2 medium carrots, peeled (I use a potato peeler to peel the carrots because cutting them in thin strips takes forever)
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine vegetables, etc. into a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Make 8 servings.

Note: The salad will get soggy if stored with dressing on it. If it isn't going to get used in one sitting, it may be best to dress a smaller amount at a time. Don't coat the salad a head of time; just before serving is best.
Note: This recipe makes a lot of salad. I like to make it in two bowls as I go along (divide the ingredients between the two bowls evenly). Then I only dress one salad with the dressing but leave the other salad plain in the fridge, and dress it with the remaining dressing when I'm ready to serve it next.

Tri-Colore Orzo

I think this is my favorite recipe on this blog. I'm actually eating it right now as I post. Here's what you need:

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup*
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces**
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (ricotta salata cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts***
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.

Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.

*(I actually omitted this 1/4 cup and it was still really good).
**You can find this in the organic produce section of your grocery store or next to the bagged salads / spinach.
***I used way less than 1/4 cup since pine nuts are expensive. I used approx. 1 TBSP. To roast the pine nuts, put them in a pan on the oven (without oil) on low-medium heat for a few minutes, string frequently. Watch them closely so they don't burn.
*If you only use 2 tsp. olive oil, this recipe is 6 WW points+ per cup. I can't really tell a difference by cutting the olive oil - it's still really good.

Recipe compliments of Giada De Laurentiis.