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Recipe: Spicy Summer Slaw
by Shannon Joyner, Editor

Spicy Summer SlawAs summer draws to a close, and the California fall brings continuing hot weather, the thought of cooking anything is unappealing. The thick smoke from forest fires hangs heavy in the air here in California (and, sadly, across the entire West Coast), and I long for fresh, crunchy, cool, flavorful food to soothe the senses and refresh the palate. This Asian-inspired slaw with a tangy, curry-kissed dressing (the same one we serve at the 3-Day Workshop networking dinner, in case you were wondering) does all of that: I’ve been making a batch from the garden every week for a month now, and I’m still not tired of it. It can be eaten on its own, as a side, or as an addition to sandwiches or tacos, or in Buddha bowls. Not only is it delicious, the ingredients are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and cooling, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which are just what we need now. Enjoy!!


1 medium head cabbage, shredded (about 4-5 cups—I prefer Napa or Savoy cabbage, but regular green cabbage works well, too, or a mixture of green and purple is pretty)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
½ sweet red onion, sliced thin
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium Persian or English cucumber (or one regular cucumber, seeds removed), sliced


3 T nut or seed butter of choice (I prefer peanut, but tahini, sunflower, or almond work well, too)
1.5 T fish sauce or soy sauce, to taste
1.5 T brown sugar or palm sugar, to taste (you can use any sweetener you like)
2 T fresh lime juice, to taste
1 T rice vinegar, to taste
2 tsp Thai red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen, but you can use your favorite brand, and adjust the amount you add to suit your taste—some curry pastes are hotter than others!)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional, but delicious)
1 T olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt

In a large bowl mix the cabbage, herbs, scallions, bell pepper, red onion, carrot, and cucumber. Toss gently to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix the nut or seed butter, soy or fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, vinegar, curry paste, toasted sesame oil, olive oil and salt, whisking until smooth. If it’s too thick, whisk in a little water to make it pour-able. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking—it should be pungent, tangy, salty, creamy, and just a little bit spicy.

You can prepare both the salad and dressing a day ahead. Cover tightly and store separately in the refrigerator. When ready to use, gently toss the salad to freshen it, and stir the dressing and serve it on the side—if you dress the whole salad, it will quickly make the veggies wilt, and it won’t be as crispy. Makes a lovely meal with steamed rice and roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes—the dressing tastes good on everything!

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