Every once in a while, when the ingredients are temptingingly on display, I like to bring out an old favorite. Today while shopping at the Fruit Center in Hingham, MA, just such an occasion arose. Gorgeous halves of red and green cabbage (why buy the whole head?), brilliant red bell peppers – screaming at me to make this colorful favorite summer side dish:
This is one impressive summer side dish – make it for yourself or bring it to a gathering. You’ll be the hero, while everyone else bypasses the overly-mayonnaised cole slaw and insipid potato salad.
I like to prep the slaw components and the spicy peanut dressing separately, then keep them in the fridge to be reunited as portions would dictate. This recipe makes a heaping amount – enough for 10-12 portions. The slaw can be transferred to a 1 gallon ziploc bag and the dressing – 1-1/2 cups – will keep almost indefinitely in the fridge, used as needed.
In a very large bowl, as seen above, combine 1/2 small head each shredded red and green cabbage (in this case, Savoy), 2 cups shredded carrots (prepackaged for ease); 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper, 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, cut on the bias; and 1/2 cup snipped cilantro, tender stems included.
Making this in a blender is a snap:
Add these ingredients in exact order to your blender (Vitamix if you’re able): 1/4 cup rice vinegar; 2 T lime juice; 6 T vegetable oil (NOT olive oil), 2 T lite soy sauce; 1 T Asian fish sauce (or another T of soy) ; 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter; 1 T Grade B maple syrup; 2 T organic sugar; 1 large garlic clove peeled; 1 T sriracha sauce or other Asian chili sauce; 1″ chunk ginger root cut into medium dice. Blend until very smooth.
The components will stay lively in the fridge for a few days and taste best when reunited as needed just before serving.
Excellent with anything off the grill, or as a lunch side with a sandwich. For added crunch, garnish with some crushed peanuts.