My kitchen is closed. Well, the stove and oven are, but the fridge and freezer are still very much open. It’s been hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from the upper 80s to lower 90s. I don’t know about you, but when it’s that hot, I close my kitchen. I don’t want to make the house any hotter by cooking and then having to crank up the AC to cool it down. I’m trying to save the family $$ on the utilities bill.
Okay, so I’m also too lazy to cook, but nobody had better say anything. So far, hubby is buying the utilities excuse, so shh… Besides, one can easily survive on salads. And raw food is hip these days. Just ask any Hollywood celebrity. Or better yet, ask our FF21 co-hosts, Elaine@Foodbod and Julianna@Foodie On Board.
Elaine makes these great big bowls of incredible salads that can make any carnivore drool. So does Julianna. Her Asian-style slaw looks so refreshing and enticing that a carnivore might be convinced to forego meat.
So, in honor of and inspired by Elaine and Julianna, I’m making you a big bowl of Chinese Chicken Salad, which has less to do with China and more with California, apparently.
Chinese Chicken Salad
Use a mixture of your favorite leafy vegetables. Any of these will do:
Shred vegetables, soak in cold water for 10 minutes to crisp them, drain well. Place in a large bowl.
Add the following:
1-2 cups cooked chicken meat, cut into strips
1 carrot, shredded
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly grated black pepper
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sesame seed oil
1. Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor, except for the oils. Process until well-blended, and almonds are finely ground.
2. Combine the oils. With the motor running, drizzle the oils in and blend until dressing is emulsified. This makes about 1 cup of dressing.
3. Toss dressing into salad.
4. Garnish as desired.
The following are optional garnish ideas:
Toasted sesame seeds
Wonton wrapper strips, deep-fried in hot oil until crisp
Rice noodles pieces, deep-fried in hot oil until puffed and crisp
Beet, Carrot & Goat Cheese Stack with Chive-Pistachio Pesto from Laura@The Seasoned Traveler. In Suzanne’s words, “…it’s a beautiful presentation, it’s healthful, delicious, seasonal and fresh. Extra points also for creativity with that pesto. Love what [Laura] did.” In Fae’s words, “[Laura’s] recipe sparked my curiosity due to its creative use of ingredients. The presentation makes it a stand-out post.” A feast for the eyes and the palate, Laura! Just wonderful!
The next spot is shared by Linda@La Petite Paniere and Krumkaker. Both of them brought fig cakes. Who, among us, is not at least slightly obsessed with figs, who? Fresh figs in a cake sound like a winning proposition.
Fig and Walnut Cake from Linda@La Petite Paniere. In Fae’s words, “…[this post] not only has a complete, clear, and understandable recipe, but superb photography as well. All one has to do is look at it, no brainer.”
Summer Cake with Figs, Peaches and Cardamom from Krumkaker. Such a gorgeous cake from a simple and straight-forward recipe requiring only a few ingredients. What could be better?
Smoked Duck Breast With Rhubarb Vinaigrette from Petra@Food eat Love. In Suzanne’s words, “This dish is elegant. I love the smoked duck breast and the use of seasonal rhubarb in the vinaigrette. Although I haven’t tried this I imagine the flavors are wonderfully explosive. I would serve this dish as an appetizer also.” It’s such a gourmet dish, Petra! Smoked duck, rhubarb vinaigrette… You’re not a secret Iron Chef, are you? The rhubarb vinaigrette will be given its due try.
Zucchini Chickpea Fritters from Charanya@Yes! I’m Vegan. Charanya said in her post that these were the fastest, yummiest fritters you could make. Well, what do you know, she was telling the truth. I made them, with my first zucchini from the garden. Could never look at fritters and not want them. They were easy to make, and they were yummy! Thank you for the recipe, Charanya!
And thank you Fae and Suzanne, for staying cool and collected under the pressure of 92 links. You showed us what perfect hosts should be like. Always welcoming, always calm, and most of all, always gracious. What a party it was! Give them a round of applause, please!
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