Sunday, July 1, 2007

It's About Time!!!

I can finally say with confidence that summer has arrived in Portland. This last month, Mother Nature has been teasing us with alternating warm and cool days. Many nights have been below 55ยบ, which isn’t very conducive to growing tomatoes, eggplant and basil (although the snap peas have been kicking ass!). But now that the hot weather is here, I’m craving crisp, refreshing salads…everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type salads. That is, give me lettuces, snap peas, snow peas, baby bok choy, kohlrabi, cabbage, onions, broccoli florets, carrots, and green beans (did I forget anything?). Sprinkle some cashews, almonds, peanuts or walnuts on top, along with a tangy dressing and I’m in heaven. This time I tried Martin Yan’s version of the Chinese chicken salad dressing (which can be found in my current favorite cookbook Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking). It's tangy and gingery, just the way I like it. As you can see, I used this dressing with a simple grilled salmon salad. It is also perfect as a dip for fresh veggies. And it's easy to make.

"New Classic Chinese" Salad Dressing
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs plum sauce
  • 2 ½ tbs honey or sugar
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (or sambal oelek to taste)
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, except the peanut oil, and blend until you get a uniform mixture. With the blender running, add the peanut oil in a slow, steady stream until well incorporated. Makes about 1 cup dressing. Can keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

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