Homer Simpson has been quoted as saying “you don’t win friends with salad” and to some extent, he may have a point. Salad can be boring especially when it’s served on its own. There are a few exceptions to the rule, such as the ubiquitous caesar salad and the common (but nonetheless delicious) Thai beef salad. Salad will rarely stand on its own, particularly without a strong protein nestled into the dressed foliage.
But fear not, I have an alternative.
I made this salad recently when the summer heat soared into the high 30′s. It’s crispy and crunchy freshness was gastronomic respite. So much so, I ate two big bowls of it. This salad is easy to make and will offer itself willingly as a stand-alone main dish. While this option is vegetarian, there is no reason why you could not add shredded chicken, sliced beef or seafood such as prawns or calamari.
1 Fennel bulb
1 Green Apple
2 Shallots, peeled
1 bunch fresh coriander (washed and dried)
Peanut, raw and unsalted
1 garlic clover
1cm fresh ginger
1 red chilli
2 tbs light soy
4 tbs olive oil
Pepper, freshly cracked
zest and juice of fresh lime
Begin mixing the dressing by adding the garlic, ginger, chilli, soy, olive oil, pepper, lime zest and juice into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients until they are well combined. Taste the dressing and add extra seasoning or ingredients to suit.
Use a grater or a food processor to shred the cabbage, zucchini, fennel and apple and place it the same bowl as the dressing. Finely dice the shallot and tear (don’t chop) the coriander leaves from their stems. Add the shallot and coriander to the shredded vegetables. Add the bean sprouts.
Toss the vegetables using your well-washed hands. Transfer the salad to a serving plate and generously scatter the peanuts across the top.
Serve straight away. If you need time before serving, leave the prepared vegetables undressed and add the dressing when you’re ready.