Most dressings you’ll find in the supermarket, or even those that we make at home, contain olive or other vegetable oils as their base. However, a fun and perhaps even more irresistible option are nut butters. While not the prettiest sounding thing, almond and peanut butters, among other nut butters, make great bases for salad dressings that cling to your salad fixins and don’t end up at the bottom of your bowl as a puddle of soup.
This is a fairly basic salad but sometimes slicing carrots into thin strips can be tricky. A trick I use to make the carrots nice and thin without having to do a lot of careful chopping is to cut them in half almost all the way to the top, leaving the stem in place. Then use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons. If you have a large enough carrot, you can make multiple cuts and use the same technique. Conversely if you have a mandoline slicer, you can use that but be sure to use the guard!
Basil is a big part of what brings this recipe together, adding a not of fresh flavor. I often get my basil from Trader Joe’s who I believe gives you a fair amount for about three bucks. One thing I recommend avoiding is chopping the basil with a knife. This does more to crush the basil leaves, which tends to make them turn black faster. Instead I opt for tearing the leaves with my hands into reasonably sized pieces.
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
- ¼ head red cabbage
- 3 carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- ½ a cucumber
- 1 large bunch of basil
- Peanuts - optional
- Wash vegetables. Cut the carrots and cabbage into long thin strips, the peppers into regular strips, and slice the cucumber into ¼ inch disks. Toast sesame seeds in toaster over.
- In a separate bowl add together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, and maple syrup then whisk until ingredients are well combined.
- Add torn basil to the salad vegetables, then pour over the dressing and toss together.
- Serve into each dish and sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds. Top with roughly chopped peanuts.