A lazy Saturday or Sunday browsing local markets is an enjoyable way to spend a weekend morning. The air is bustling with activity and local farmers and artisans are busy in their booths with friendly smiles and great advice. Colors and fragrance are delightfully overwhelming and it’s difficult not to purchase everything you see. Arming yourself with a recipe or two that calls for fresh and local ingredients is a great way to minimize “over” purchasing, and ensure you don’t have excess that will go to waste.
Gail Simmons, a trained culinary expert and judge on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef, as well as head critic on Top Chef Masters, has created a recipe that works well fur such an occasion. Her Vietnamese Slaw with Peanuts and Cilantro is both fresh and enticing, making it the perfect dish to whip up after a busy day of shopping at the market.
If you are looking to learn more about Gail Simmons, you can finder her as a judge on season three of CBC’s “Recipes to Riches,” a competition-style reality series featuring amateur Canadian cooks and in the summer 2014, Gail will be co-hosting “The Feed,” an inventive series that’s part road show, part buddy comedy, and part talk show on FYI, A+E’s new lifestyle network. She was the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spin-off of the Top Chef franchise, which aired its second season in the fall of 2011, and is the author of Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater (Hyperion, February 2012).
Vietnamese Slaw with Peanuts and Cilantro
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 large shallot, finely sliced
For the slaw:
- 1/2 head small red cabbage
- 1/2 head small Napa cabbage
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 radishes
- 2 mini seedless cucumbers
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 small Granny Smith apples
- ¼ cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
- Begin by making the dressing so the shallots have time to marinate. In a large mixing bowl combine everything except the shallots and whisk together. Place shallots in the dressing and set aside.
- Using a mandolin or a food processor with the slicer and grater attachments, finely slice the cabbages, radish and cucumber. Grate the carrot and separate the cilantro leaves. Core the apples and finely slice to yield thin half–moons. Place everything into a mixing bowl with the dressing and sliced shallot and toss together well.
- Serve slaw topped with chopped peanuts and extra cilantro leaves. Pair with a bottle of Pure Leaf Not Too Sweet Honey Green Tea.