Last week, I invited my girlfriend Darby and her sweet baby Ellie over for a little ladies’ lunch at my house. I was craving something light and seasonal, so I tossed together my favorite asian chicken salad full of crunchy edamame, cool cucumber and salty peanuts. Of course I’ll share the recipe, but first, I’ve got to tell you how our little get-together came about. It started with a case of love at first sight, when I laid eyes on these gorgeous clothbound classics at Anthro…
From Anne of Green Gables to The Secret Garden, these beauties (designed by Coralie Bickford Smith) included my favorite books in the world growing up, and I couldn’t resist taking them home to pass on to another little girl to experience. Since Ellie’s baptism was right around the corner, I couldn’t think of a sweeter way to mark the occasion.
Ellie was perfectly ladylike as she gently ripped the flowery paper and tugged at the pink ribbon…until she tried to eat it, of course! (A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!) After leafing through the pages (and letting me take about a million photos) her mom and I sat down to heaping plates of chilled asian chicken salad, and spent an afternoon enjoying good food and laughing at Ellie’s antics.
Crunchy Asian Salad
- 1 head Napa cabbage, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 small head red cabbage, cored and chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
- 1 large English cucumber, peeled, cored & cut into thin half-moons
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 2 cups cooked shelled edamame
- 1/2 cups roasted peanuts, chopped
- 4 cooked chicken breasts, chilled
- Lime-cilantro dressing
- 2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch dice (optional)
- Thai peanut dressing
- Place cabbages, carrots, scallions, cucumber, cilantro, basil, edamame and peanuts in very large mixing bowl and toss to mix.
- Cut chicken into ½-inch cubes and add to mixing bowl.
- Pour lime-cilantro dressing into bowl and toss to mix thoroughly. Divide salad among four, very large, chilled serving plates.
- Sprinkle salads with diced avocado, toasted peanuts, & cilantro.
- Drizzle Thai peanut dressing over salad
*note: thanks to a very astute reader, I realized this salad was actually inspired not by my friend who passed it along, but by a California Pizza Kitchen recipe for their Thai Crunch Salad. Thanks for giving me a heads up, and thanks to CPK for being so darn delicious!