June. June sorta snuck up on me this year. Since this May was the first that I have spent working and not studying and taking finals, or even graduating, the transition to this summer month just appeared. But I’m glad that it has. June means free outdoor concerts in Millennium Park and beach volleyball leagues. Bocce in Lincoln Park. Bikes instead of buses. And the sun staying up until well past 7PM. And my 26th birthday on the 8th. And strawberries and rhubarb and sugar snap peas.
It also means cold crunchy salads. Especially ones with roasted peanuts and tangy lime. I made this salad for one of my bridesmaid’s oh a whim mojito/sangria party but it would be equally at home on a picnic blanket or tucked into a packed lunch.
1/2 small red cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1/2 small green cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch fresh baby spinach, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 small limes)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss the shredded red and green cabbage with the kosher salt. Transfer the cabbage to a colander and let it drain for two hours. Clean the bowl some because you are going to use it again. Taste the cabbage at this point and rinse it some if it tastes too salty. I didn’t and the salad was a tad on the salty side in the end but I like salt so I thought it was fine. Use your judgement.
Put the salted, drained cabbage back into your cleaned large bowl and add the spinach. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, mustard and cumin together. Add the peanut oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the ingredients are thoroughly emulsified. Toss the salad with the dressing when you are ready to serve and add the roasted peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This salad is best served quickly but will last a day or two in the fridge.