Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Cool Down

Hot summer days require many cool salads. And it's been h-o-t (hot!) here. I started making this salad for Indian dishes that called for more than 5 chili peppers (with seeds, cause in Indian cooking you never remove the seeds, that's just blasphemy) It goes really well with warm menus and after just a couple spice substitutions I've made, it can be worked into any cuisine.

There's nothing better than a cool, watery side dish to go with a 97+ degree Minnesota night. Well either that or ice cream. But I like grilled fruit or simmered berries on my ice cream and sometimes that's just too warm.

Speaking of berries.... the blueberry bushes are doing well. Despite all the efforts of the bunnies and Japanese beetles to destroy everything else in my yard, the new bushes are holding in there. I should be getting some additional bulbs to put in for Autumn and spring. I'm still walking around the neighborhood and looking at all the gardens, filled with constant flowers and growing hedges. Why did it take me over 3 years to finally plant something (besides those stupid blackberry lilies) that will come back each year? It baffles me. I baffle myself. Self-baffling, never a good thing.

Cabbage and Cucumber Salad
(bund gobhi kakadi nu salade - Raghavan Iyer)

1 small head of cabbage
1 cucumber
1/4 cup peanuts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp crushed mustard seeds
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice

Wash cabbage head and slice into small ribbons. Set aside in a large bowl. Peel cucumber, halve, remove seeds with a spoon, and slice into small cresents.
In a pan on medium heat, toast peanuts until just brown. Let cool and crush up. Add to cabbage mixture.

Add salt, pepper, sugar, mustard seeds, and coconut to the cabbage, mixing well. Drizzle olive oil and lime juice on top, mix. Let cool in fridge until ready to serve.

Can add fennel fronds or black sesame seeds for detail.

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