Hello.  As I was clicking through those other food blogs I told you about (What I’m Reading), I started wondering if everyone was on holidays?  How could they just leave us all hanging here with only a post here and there.  Don’t they know that they have loyal followers that need want to read their new shiny posts as often as possible?  Don’t they know that some people are bored and rely on their postings to pass time and procrastinate on papers that are due at the end of the month?! 

Then I looked at the last time that I posted….ummmm….sorry.  Yup, I am guilty of the same thing.  The weather turned hot here and I have been spending less time at the computer.  I have been coaching some speed skating, crocheting a baby blanket, taking Dutch lessons, frequenting the markets around Delft, riding over to Rotterdam to watch the Tour de France in person – you know just your every day stuff.  Um, I hope you caught that last one, you know the one about watching the Tour de France!!!  Ya, just your every day stuff over here in Europe.

While I try to put a lid on the bragging, let’s talk about this recipe.  It’s not European at all, but it is a recipe from a European (is the UK european?).  Jamie Oliver that is.  The Naked Chef.  Remember when everyone used to call him that and you started watching the Food Network just to see a guy cooking in the nude only to be disappointed, but then excited again since his recipes were so dang good and easy?  We have a friend who is in love with Jamie.  He’s got every cookbook and every time we get invited over for a meal, it’s some amazing dish from the pages of the Naked Chef.  

This amazing Thai salad is from his first (I think) publication The Naked Chef Takes Off.  Said friend inspired me to buy this cookbook for Mr. Foodlova and it has not disappointed.  Aside from this salad, my first post on Risotto is from this book.  There are several others that are so easy and tasty that you just keep making them.

You know when you eat something and you think, “What is that taste?”  It’s a taste you keep wanting more of.  “Sure I’ll have another helping of the salad”, “What’s in this salad?”  That would be the star of this dish – the vinaigrette.  Lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, cilantro and the secret ingredient is sesame oil.  That is the je-ne-sais-quoi (or however you would say that is Thai) of the salad.  You will not be disappointed if you try it and summer time is the perfect time!

Crunchy Thai Salad – adapted from Jamie Oliver 

This salad can be made by the truckload.  If you’re making it for the whole family or a BBQ/potluck then use a whole savoy cabbage.  To make it smaller just use half of the cabbage head. 

1 Chinese or Savoy cabbage 

A couple handfuls of arugula and/or spinach 

red and green bell pepper, julienned (finely sliced in strips) 

a couple handfuls of bean sprouts 

a small bag of baby snap peas 

a couple green onions, chopped on the bias – for asian flair! 

half of an english cucumber sliced in strips to match the peppers 

See how you can add anything you want or have in your fridge?  Just add as much as you think.  You can’t really go wrong.  This is the combo I usually use (plus or minus a few ingredients), but go nuts! 

Vinaigrette 

4 tbsp lime juice 

3 tbsp oil 

1 tbsp sesame oil 

1 tbsp soy sauce 

a good pinch of brown sugar 

1 tbsp minced ginger 

1 small clove garlic, minced 

something spicy – you could use a red chili, some red pepper flakes, some hot sauce you like, I’ve even used some Sweet chili sauce. 

a handful of chopped cilantro (can be substituted with basil or mint) right into the dressing. 

Chop up all the veggies and throw into a large bowl.  Shake all the vinaigrette ingredients up in a jar.  Pour over the veggies and toss.  Sprinkole with some sesame seeds to finish it off.  Let sit for a few minute in the fridge so that the vinaigrette can get soaked up a little.  

If you want to make it a meal, add some cooked egg or rice noodles and some chicken or shrimp would do the trick for some protein.

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