Why is it that we eat hearty meals when it's cold out, and light meals when it's warm? Especially when the result of eating hearty meals in the winter means that we spend the summer trying to get off the extra pounds that we put on while eating the hearty food??? Just a funny thought that popped in my head :)
So, if you are trying to eat a little lighter, or you just like eating a lighter meal during the warm summer months, this salad is delicious, but the secret is truly in the sauce. I found it on Design Sponge, such a great resource. The original recipe includes chicken, so if you enjoy chicken, by all meals add it in. You can find the recipe for Christina Ha's Vietnamese Chicken Salad HERE.
This is not a vegetarian dish, even if you leave out the chicken as the dressing includes fish sauce. If you do follow a vegetarian diet, but don't mind a little fish from time to time, this dish is a must try. I made the salad without the chicken, but of course included the fish sauce for the ginger vinaigrette dressing.
When I stopped at the store, they had just gotten in the most beautiful fresh cabbages. I was SO happy!
The recipe calls for fresh basil, mint and cilantro. I wish you could have been in my kitchen when I cut up the herbs. The fragrance was intoxicating!
So as I said, the salad is quite light. After making the salad the first time, I have decided that the next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I am going to boil rice noodles, allow them to cool and then add them to the salad. The addition of the rice noodles will make the salad a little heartier and more satisfying as a main dish.
The only changes I made to the recipe were of course, the deletion of the chicken. I toasted slivered almonds rather than peanuts, and I did not top the salad with the fried shallots. Didn't really need them, but if you really like fried shallots, by all means add away! Personally, I felt that the fried shallots would take away from the fresh aromatic aspect of the herbs. But, my opinion :)
Hope you enjoy the salad if you give it a try.
Happy Eating Light!