Monday, May 17, 2010

Asian Spinach Salad

A few weeks ago, NAK and I had dinner at Nooshi, a reliable restaurant that has become our go-to place for sushi and Asian inspired dishes. The salads and slaws are served in giant silver martini glass shaped bowls and are not only tasty but also incredibly eye-appealing with colorful fruit, shredded crunchy vegetables and candied nuts. We have eaten at Nooshi no less than two dozen times over the years we've lived in DC, yet for some reason, I never had the urge to try and re-create one of the salad at home. After all, why mess with a good thing when the perfect salad is served in a pretty bowl and costs all of $6.

But yesterday afternoon, after too much wine was consumed while sitting in the backyard listening to a drum circle, I had zero- make that negative- desire to put the stove or oven on and cook something for dinner. This scene is one I'm sure will repeat itself often enough throughout the summer so it bears getting my slaw making skills up to par because we can't just go running off to Nooshi anytime the salad and slaw mood strikes. (Let me clarify - I most definitely could but our bank account won't like it too much).
So I made this salad for dinner last night and it was fabulous. Fresh and crunchy veggies, a tangy but sweet dressing and enough leftovers for the next day’s lunch. And as I wrote this, we had eaten our fill of salad and the drum circle was still going strong. It’s going to be a good summer.

Asian Spinach Salad
1 bunch or 1 bag spinach, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups savoy cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
Half an English cucumber, sliced into half moons
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
a few drops soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/3 vegetable oil
warm water (as needed, to thin dressing)
salt and pepper to taste

Assemble the salad ingredients, reserving the almonds. Whisk the dressing together, adding in a few drops of warm water until the dressing is the right consistency to coat the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss and sprinkle almonds on top. Dressing will keep well in the fridge in a tightly sealed container.

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