Well, it is officially springtime in our neighbourhood. We put out the patio furniture the other day, and basked in the sun with a friend, enjoying some wine and nibblies. I planted a few hardy, early spring bloomers in our new gardens and just can’t wait until April 1st – the official opening date of Costco’s garden centre! You might say that my brain is dancing with ideas for the gardens in our new home! All this leads me to plans for spring and summer festivities with friends and family. Today’s salad is perfect for the upcoming warm weather. It is bright, fresh, slightly exotic, and a complete meal in itself. I have made it a couple of times, and will make it again this summer for patio parties. I found the original in a BC Taste Magazine (I don’t know the issue, as I pulled the recipe out of the magazine) and have made a few modifications.
Asian Coleslaw with Quinoa, Peanuts and Shrimp
2/3 cup water
½ lemon, juice and zest
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup quinoa
5-6 baby bok choy, trimmed and washed
¼ Napa cabbage, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, cut into a fine julienne
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
½ medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
½ bunch mint, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup Thai basil, thinly sliced
½ cup dry roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Asian chili paste
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or a light olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste (be careful because the fish sauce is very salty)
1 pound peeled shrimp
In a small saucepan, combine the water, lemon juice, zest, salt and quinoa. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
Cut bok choy and cabbage into fine julienne strips. Place into a large mixing bowl and add the pepper, carrot, onion, mint, cilantro, basil and cooled quinoa.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. You can mix this with an immersion blender for a more homogenized dressing.
To serve, place salad on the plates, top with shrimp, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with peanuts.