Life has been, er, a little jam-packed lately. Despite some lovely time off from my job I seem to go to sleep each evening wondering where the day went. Our Netflix movies sit unopened and there is an embarrassing amount of food quickly becoming less charming as it gets shoved into the back corners of the refrigerator.
Around lunchtime a couple of days ago I was gathering the house to leave and run a variety of tedious errands and I realized I was both hungry and willing to create something out of the bits and pieces remaining in my vegetable drawer.
My mom and I made our favorite coleslaw this year for our favorite dad on Father’s Day this year, and I still had plenty of cabbage in my vegetable drawer. Having reached my mayonnaise quota last weekend with the other slaw, I thought about my favorite other slaws and a bright, crunchy, peanut slaw from a nearby restaurant, Bandera, immediately came to mind. I did a cursory online search and realized that there are a few other Bandera peanut slaw lovers out there, too. Bandera has yet to publish their recipe, but countless other folks have made their own attempts to recreate it at home. This is my version. Bandera usually serves their slaw alongside a hamburger or piece of roast chicken, but I just enjoyed it plain by the spoonful. Not too shabby for a last-minute, vegetable drawer salad.
adapted from a slaw at Bandera
yields 4 servings
Note: Bandera’s version includes jicama, a vegetable I loathe. Yes, it is nearly flavorless and adds a needed crunch, so if it doesn’t bother you as much as it bothers me, I would recommend adding a cup or two of julienned jicama.
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
salt and pepper
For the slaw:
1 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno or serano chili, deseeded and minced (optional)
1/2 cup peanuts, lightly toasted and cooled
In a large serving bowl add all of the ingredients for the dressing and stir together until the sugar is dissolved and the ingredients are well mixed. Taste for seasonings — this may be too vinegary for your taste. If so, add extra sugar or lime juice.
Add the cabbage, scallions, cilantro, mined chili. Stir to combine and coat with the dressing in the bottom of the bowl. If not eating right away, cover and refrigerate. Just before serving add the peanuts and toss.