Monday, August 23, 2010

Probably One of the Tastiest Salad's Ever

I saw this salad on Pioneer Woman a couple of months ago and was intrigued by it! It wasn't your traditional salad...which I'm usually not a fan of. This looked like something I could sink my teeth into and I liked almost all the ingredients (there weren't any tomatoes...yay!). The only thing is it seemed like a "party" salad. By that I mean, it seems like the kind of salad that would feed a hoard of people...not just Antoine and I. So I waited...I waited for an opportunity to present itself...a party that needed a salad! And it did...last Sunday (you know, not yesterday...the Sunday before)!

When rumblings of a backyard bbq last Sunday began I immediately told my sister, "I've got a salad I could make!" So, Sunday morning when we made our way to Findlay Market I brought along with me a list of about 15 or so ingredients with me! Right off the bat I had decided to omitted the jalapeno peppers, since I'm a wussy when it comes to spicy things (and I know my sis is too). Also, I decided to halve the recipe. According to PW's recipe it says it serves 6...but that seemed like an awful lot for just 6 I figured a half recipe would suffice!

I ended up finding all my ingredients that I needed at the farmer's market except for the cashews and the cabbage (they might have had it there, but apparently Antoine and I couldn't pick napa cabbage out of a crowd...we need some cabbage edjumakation!).

Anyway, the salad was pretty easy to put together...just lots of chopping! There were a couple of slight variations I made however. I accidentally bought a green pepper instead of an orange pepper, but that was no big deal! Also, I bought lightly salted cashews and didn't toast them in a skillet like PW said to...but I really enjoyed them as is! Their slight saltiness didn't overwhelm the salad by any means! I used a little extra lime juice in the dressing, which was really nice. And I went easy on the ginger, which I'm almost sad I did...the ginger gave the salad a great flavor. I halved the amount of linguine (since it was a half recipe), but I wish I would have put more really soaked up the flavor of the dressing (soy, seasame, garlic, and ginger) and it was a nice contrast to the cabbage...therefore it would have been nice if the cabbage/linguine ratio was more 50/50 (mine was more like 70/30). Also, I left out the bean sprouts for people to add to their bowl of pasta, since Antoine and Christian don't like bean sprouts.

It seems like a lot of pasta, but don't be scared! It adds a lot to the balances out the crispness of the cabbage, bean sprouts, and bell peppers! [photo courtesy of PW]

Here's a photo of how my salad turned out...

Not as pretty PW's, but not bad!

The verdict: Absolutely delicious! I really liked it, and so did everyone else! It was light and fresh tasting. The flavors all blended together very well! Everyone had two portions (two small side salads worth) and I still had a bunch to take home. So, the half recipe made A LOT!! I'd say it would have fed 10 people easily, as a side salad to a meal. I would also advise that if you want to make this for yourself (aka for less than 6 people), I'd make the dressing, combine all the salad ingredients except the cucumbers, cashews, and linguine and then just make the individual portions that you need and store it all separately. It didn't keep well. The next day I took some for lunch and I felt like it was too soggy! The cucumbers got really mushy and kind of gross and everything else kind of lost that pleasant crispness it had had the day before! So, I'd keep things separate, then everything should be peachy!

I will definitely make this salad again! I thought it was a hit for sure! Satisfying and fairly healthy!

No comments: