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summer sides 
by Yee-Fan Sun |
1 2

With Fourth of July right around the corner, it's that time of year again -- when the warm weather beckons us into the great outdoors, and the only cooking you really want to be doing takes place on the grill. Still, what's a burger without some tasty salads served on the side? Check out these summer side dishes…

napa cole slaw
That mayonnaise-drenched version of cole slaw that you usually find accompanying sandwiches and barbecues has never done a whole lot for me -- you can never actually taste any of the vegetable in that kind of cole slaw. Which for cabbage haters, I suppose, may be the whole point. If that's the kind of cole slaw you like, keep on moseying.

If, on the other hand, you're looking for a light, crunchy slaw where the dressing highlights the veggie goodness rather than drowns it out, give this recipe a try. I generally use napa cabbage, which pairs well with the vaguely Asian-inspired dressing, and has a nice mild, sweet flavor.

3 cups napa cabbage, finely sliced
1½ cups sugar snap peas, sliced on the diagonal into thirds
1/3 cup scallions (about 3 stalks), finely minced
1 cup carrots, cut into 2" long thin sticks (julienned)

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. cooking oil
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. honey
¼ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
crushed red pepper to taste (I add a scant ¼ tsp. for a slaw with quite a bit of kick; if you don't want things too spicy, scale back or omit altogether)
freshly ground pepper to taste

serves 4 as a side dish

1 Mix up the dressing, and let it sit while you prep the veggies.
2 Slice the cabbage and the sugar snap peas; mince the scallions. Cut the carrots into matchsticks. Put all the veggies into a bowl. Pour on the dressing and give it all a good toss. Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and black pepper, and taste. Add more of the peppers if it needs more zip; sprinkle in more salt if things seem too bland. Enjoy.

Variation: Make a peanutty napa slaw by adding 1 Tbsp. peanut butter to the dressing, and zizzing the dressing in a mini food processor or blender. Very yummy -- even more so as leftovers the next day (the cabbage will look rather wilty by that point, but the flavors will be amazing).

keep on moseying


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