Pepper Cabbage Broccoli Salad

This morning I was feeling particularly creative and in the mood for something light and fresh….so I took on my own modified version of an Asian noodle salad.

It was fairly quick to assemble and made enough salad for 5-6 people.

The salad dressing combines rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave nectar and pepper. The sesame oil is key. I utilized a dark toasted sesame seed oil from Japan.  A small quantity goes a long way – it gives the salad a nutty roasted sesame seed flavor without overpowering the salad. The agave nectar is a low glycemic index sweetener (and is sweeter than processed white sugar). Rice vinegar is less acidic than regular vinegar or wine vinegar, and so is appropriate for this light dish.

Ingredients for Pepper Cabbage Broccoli Salad:

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped length-wise into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped length-wise into strips
  • 2 crowns of broccoli, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 6 oz rice vermicelli noodles (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil

Dressing:

  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1.5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • pinch of salt

Wash and chop all vegetables listed as indicated above. Steam or blanche or pan fry the broccoli only until bright green – about 5 minutes. Set aside. In the same pan, add a teaspoon of oil, then add the remaining vegetables and allow to heat for 2-3 minutes. The cabbage will soften. Then remove pan from heat and add all of the vegetables to a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Then pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir. The dish is ready to serve.

If you decide to add vermicelli noodles to this dish, then fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the vermicelli noodles to the water and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water. Rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain. If the noodles stick together, then separate in the cold water before draining.

Toss the noodles in the vegetables and serve. You can also add more dressing to the salad to suit your taste and adjust the agave nectar quantity for sweetness.

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