There’s no need to follow this recipe slavishly. Feel free to add shredded purple cabbage, snow pea pods, sliced water chestnuts, and so on. You can even turn the salad into a light lunch or dinner entrée by topping it with shredded rotisserie chicken or thinly sliced grilled steak.
For the dressing
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
- 1 head Napa cabbage
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
- Coarsely chopped roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), for garnish (optional)
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or whisk together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Trim the cabbage, removing any blemished leaves. Trim the stem end. Cut the head in half, lengthwise (or cut into quarters if it’s especially large), then slice crosswise into thin strips. Place in a large serving bowl. Add the carrot, bell pepper, scallions, tomatoes, and cilantro leaves. Toss.
Vigorously shake the jar of dressing until emulsified (or re-whisk, if in a bowl) and pour over the salad. Toss again to lightly coat the salad. (Pull a few of the tomatoes to the top as their weight sometimes makes them sink to the bottom of the bowl.) Sprinkle with peanuts, if using.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club