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Gotta Have Crunch!

I’m one of those people where the texture of food is very important. Just like having a combination of savory to sweet and acid to fat, the texture of a dish adds to its interest. I find this to be particularly true when it comes to salads. For me, every salad has to have an element of crunch! Salads do not have to be constructed with the honeymoon approach (lettuce alone). I want a salad that is seasonal, colorful, crunchy and delicious.

Recently, I was totally gobsmacked when I realized I have never used Napa or Chinese cabbage at home. How can this be? I love cabbage! So when a recipe for an Asian salad popped up on my internet feed, I took a look. Because I’m slightly anal about this, I changed some things, and made a completely different dressing than the one suggested. The Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette worked beautifully. This salad is now my new obsession! It’s also perfect for those of us that eat a fair amount of chicken. I roast a whole chicken about every other week, so the leftovers are perfect for this salad. No leftovers? Grab a store-bought rotisserie chicken and you’re have way done! I even ordered three Napa seed varieties for our farm. I know I will be experimenting with this delicious, crunchy ingredient in the next few months.

ASIAN SHREDDED CHICKEN SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE SALAD:

  1. 2 heaping cups of cooked and shredded leftover, or store-bought rotisserie chicken

  2. 4 heaping cups thinly sliced napa cabbage

  3. 4 scallion, thinly sliced

  4. 1 cup shredded carrots

  5. 1 cup English or Persian cucumber, diced

  6. 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  7. 1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped

  8. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  9. 1/2 cup toasted almonds

FOR THE MISO-SESAME VINAIGRETTE:

  1. 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed

  2. 1 small shallot, roughly chopped

  3. 2 tablespoons tamari or Braggs liquid aminos

  4. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (white or reg)

  5. 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

  6. 1 tablespoon miso paste of your choice (white or red)

  7. 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  8. 1/2 cup sunflower, avocado or vegetable oil

  9. 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  10. 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients except for the nuts. In a small food processor or quart jar, using a stick blender, combine all the ingredients for the dressing, except the oil and sesame seeds. Blend dressing ingredients until smooth. Slowly add the oil, blending until emulsified. Stir in sesame seeds.

  2. Right before serving, toss the salad with the 1/4-1/2 cup of the dressing. Garnish with nuts and more sliced green onions. Serve cold.


“Pray for miracles, but plant cabbages.” ― Ken Follett

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