In the heat and humidity of August days, salad suppers are a simple, nutritious and delicious welcome. The added benefit is no cooking to heat up the kitchen if you use a rotisserie chicken to top this family favorite. Every time I make this salad I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Most of the ingredients are ones we keep as pantry and frig staples.
There are dozens of similar recipes in cookbooks and online. Some are called Vietnamese, some are called Thai. Most list fish sauce as an ingredient and since we lived in Southeast Asia, I know this is a traditional seasoning. But we prefer to omit it in most dishes. The greens can be a combination of almost anything you wish. If you are cooking for several people, increase the amounts and it is beautiful served on a large platter with ingredients layered separately to toss before serving. When I make it for two, I create the salads right on the serving plates.
Thai Chicken Salad with Lime and Ginger Vinaigrette
2 cups shredded or chopped chicken (I use rotisserie chicken!)
4 cups coarsely chopped Romaine lettuce or Napa Cabbage
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
3 carrots, grated
!/2 cup roasted peanuts (more if you like)
For Lime and Ginger Vinaigrette
Juice of 2 large limes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger (I use Penzey’s)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
honey to taste
whisk together and drizzle over salad before serving
Layer greens, chopped vegetables, and chicken. Sprinkle peanuts and dressing on top before serving.