As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a member of a gourmet club. See the original post to get all the details, but it is an opportunity for four couples to get together each quarter and enjoy both each other’s company and some really, really good food.
Last spring, we hosted the gourmet club and as per the rules, we could pick the theme. After a year’s worth of geography based choices (Germany, Cajun, Irish and Italian) and a string of other choices (Food on a stick, Starts with S, Soul Food), I decided to go back to a geographical choice – Thailand.
I’d cooked only a few Thai dishes before and had some level of confidence it would be somewhat a stretch for the other participants as well. This made it more interesting to me as I knew I’d be able to try something new.
The soup or salad course was made by a couple that was new to the club. Their entry could not have been more well received. It was not only great looking, it was delicious (so much so, I’ve made it twice since then). The flavor combination was similar to something I had made before but their use of edible flowers was a first for me.
While the picture is not the best, you can see the great color the flowers bring to the dish.
The first picture was from the gourmet club, but the rest are from one of my remakes.
Making the peanut sauce in my Blendtec blender.
Getting the salad ready.
The creamy peanut butter, the crisp veggies and the heat of the red pepper and ginger just brings it all to life.
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy
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
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
1. For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. 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.