Two pots of water were set to boil on the stove as Debbie was leaving to pick up our CSA vegetable shares. The plan was this: While she” hunted and gathered”, I would begin the prep work for our salad making. By the time she arrived thirty minutes later with two enormous bags of fruits and vegetables, I had already washed and chopped the garden-fresh mint, chives and cilantro and pre-cooked the lentils and orzo to use as a base for our salad creations.
Since I was a bit overwhelmed after returning from my several week Summer getaway, our cooking date was an ideal way for me to deal with a mound of veggies, get some healthy foods in the fridge and of course, catch up with a friend.
As usual when Debbie and I cook together, we had no specific plan in mind. Debbie laid the Napa cabbage, carrots, parsley, broccoli, garlic and snow peas out on my kitchen table, allowing us to survey the haul. At first, we just sort of stared at it, our minds working hard searching for ideas. It took a few minutes before the image of Asian coleslaw popped into my head, checking off four of the veggies for one salad. Then Debbie came up with the idea of the Broccoli, Orzo and Caramelized onion salad.
Success! Two friends and a pile of miss-matched vegetables are a sure bet for inspiration.
We worked together, chopping and creating two delicious salads, feeling so satisfied as we put to good use our CSA veggies. Our six combined kids were busy playing, checking in every-once-in-a while to see what we were making. Thumbs up signs from the kids meant our Asian coleslaw was a hit. Since I had a heavy hand with the red peppers, the broccoli salad was a tad too spicy for the kids.
Makes two and half quarts
1 head Napa cabbage, washed and chopped
1 pound snow peas, washed and chopped
2 cups shredded carrots, peeled and julienned
1 bunch chives, chopped
1 large bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
Combine cabbage, snow peas, carrots, chives, scallions and cilantro in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, canola oil, garlic, soy sauce and salt. Pour over the coleslaw and mix well. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat and if desired, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top before serving.