I’ve become a real lover of salads this summer. Don’t get me wrong, serve me up a bowl of the classic leaves, cucumber, onion combo and I won’t exactly be toooo impressed, but a bowl of this? I’ll be one happy girl! A substantial bowl of crisp veggies, dressed in some kind of yummy sauce, can make the tastiest of dinners. It needs a mixture of tastes, textures and colours, a dressing that will make it sing.
I tend to prefer Asian flavours to my salads – chilli heat, lime zing, saltiness from soy or fish sauce. Here I’ve added peanut butter to the mix – because peanut butter. Pretty much anything is made better with peanut butter. Based on this recipe from Waitrose, it’s crunchy, spicy, creamy, salty, zingy and totally fresh and flavourful. Delicious!
It’s also super simple to whip up – and I’ve made it even easier using Very Lazy pastes. These are perfect for stress and hassle-free cooking. I’ve previously only really used them in curries and stir-fries, but they actually work perfectly in salad dressings too. A win in my book, there’s little I hate more than peeling and chopping ginger!
NB: this does work out well as a lunchbox dish, but I’d leave out the cucumber and keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve.
- 3-4 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 limes, zest and juice
- fresh ginger (about the size of your thumb), grated or finely chopped (or use the everso useful Very Lazy paste – you could even do the same for the chilli too!)
- 1 fresh red chilli (remove the seeds if you’re a little scared of heat!)
- 1 tbsp runny honey (I’d get some cheaper stuff, anything ‘nice’ tastes too much of honey in this)
- 1 pack of radishes
- 1 chinese leaf lettuce
- 1 bunch salad onions (around 5-6)
- 3 large carrots
- 1/2 cucumber (I didn’t include this in the one I photographed, but it adds a nice freshness!)
- 1 pack coriander
Prep the veggies – finely slice the radishes and onions, then shred the lettuce. Use a julienne peeler to cut ribbons of the carrot (peel first), then use a veg peeler to gain fine slices of cucumber (discard the watery middle). Chop the coriander.
Then make the dressing. Pop the peanut butter into a small bowl with the lime zest and the finely chopped chilli, then gradually beat in the soy sauce – I find using a fork best for this. Add in the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Toss together with the veggies, then serve immediately.
It makes an amazing side to grilled satay chicken (I have a recipe I need to photograph and blog), but I also love it with cold prawns, or even some baked salmon. Or if I’m having it on it’s own, I like to add some extra nuts for a little additional protein, possibly some blanched and cooled soy beans too.
*Some products were received from Very Lazy in exchange for a recipe, though all opinions are (as ever!) my own.
Are you a salad fan? What’s your favourite combo?