Thai Salad with Peanut Sesame Dressing.
say we first eat with our eyes.
may disagree, but we know what is meant: The visual
appearance of food is part of the experience of eating it.
Often, the better it looks, the better it tastes.
that may be the reasoning behind a tasty new trend of boxing
up salads in see-through containers. Itís like a layered
salad ó or one of those make-your-own-cookie jars ó but
in just one portion.
a great way to whet your appetite before you even get your
salad on a plate. And there are even some people who just
eat the salad in layers out of the container.
idea of what I call Shake-a-Salad appears to have originated
with the folks at Ziploc who, not coincidentally, also
developed a clear plastic cylinder in which to put the
salad. But anything clear and tallish and straightish will
do ó a Mason jar, for instance, though there will be a bit
of a bottleneck at the top.
are only a couple of rules to follow when making a
Shake-a-Salad. You want to build it with layers of the
sturdiest and heaviest items on the bottom, so they donít
crush the more delicate layers. And because the dressing is
obviously going to find its way to the bottom, you donít
want to put lettuce there, which will wilt in the dressing,
or items such as grains or croutons that will absorb it.
three, just for kicks.
first, Pad Thai Salad with Peanut Sesame Dressing, was
developed by Ziploc specifically to be used in one of these
containers. It was created to have a strong visual appeal
ó because we eat first with our eyes ó and it is
gorgeous. Itís so beautiful youíll almost hate to eat
are all the ingredients for pad Thai except the one that
actually defines the dish, the rice noodles. But the rest is
there: chicken, peanuts, scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro
and bean sprouts, plus ingredients chosen as much for the
way they look as the way they taste ó red cabbage, carrots
and red bell peppers.
the real star of this salad is the peanut sesame dressing.
Thick, hearty and drenched in peanut-sesame flavors, this is
a dressing to remember for any number of salads based on
lettuce, kale or cabbage. Why, it would even be delicious on
a salad served on a plate.
No. 2 was a mixture of farro, roasted chickpeas and feta
cheese, along with a spicy ó but very light ó dressing.
The genius of this salad is the amazing way the rich
nuttiness of the farro becomes instantly enlivened when it
meets the briny saltiness of the feta. The roasted chickpeas
are only a crunchy icing on the cake.
what if you canít find farro? The ancient grain, which has
been around since the time of Mesopotamia, is often absent
from supermarket shelves (though it can also be found just
as often). If your local store does not carry farro, you can
easily substitute brown rice with very similarly happy
final Shake-a-Salad makes full use of one of those classic
food combinations, beets and oranges. Arugula adds a peppery
punch, which is nicely smoothed out by a mild dressing
sparked by a hint of orange juice. Walnuts on top keep the
salad solid and sophisticated.
you pull out your clear cylinder with beets and oranges and
other goodness, your colleagues or schoolmates will be
impressed by your good taste. But even that good taste wonít
taste as good as your salad.
THAI SALAD WITH PEANUT SESAME DRESSING
tablespoons rice wine vinegar
cup extra-virgin olive oil
tablespoons toasted sesame oil
tablespoons creamy peanut butter
tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
teaspoon sriracha, optional
small red cabbage, shredded
cup cilantro, roughly chopped
cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
bell peppers, seeded and diced
carrots, peeled into ribbons
scallions, thinly sliced
roasted and salted peanuts
tablespoons sesame seeds
Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and sesame oil until
emulsified; then whisk in the peanut butter, honey, tamari
and optional sriracha until smooth. Taste and adjust if
Place dressing in the bottom of 4 tall containers. Mix
together cabbage and cilantro, and portion this mixture out
into each container. Add layers of chicken, lettuce, red
peppers, bean sprouts, carrots, scallions, peanuts and
sesame seeds. Refrigerate until serving.
serving: 602 calories; 45 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 37 mg
cholesterol; 29 g protein; 28 g carbohydrate; 14 g sugar; 7
g fiber; 1,113 mg sodium; 122 mg calcium.
from a recipe by Ziploc.
FETA AND ROASTED CHICKPEA SALAD
(15-ounce) can chickpeas
tablespoon olive oil
teaspoon salt, divided
farro or brown rice
tablespoons fish sauce
tablespoons lime juice
tablespoons brown sugar
tablespoons (3 ounces) water
medium garlic clove, very thinly sliced
chile, very thinly sliced (or serrano chile)
ounces crumbled feta cheese
carrots, peeled and sliced
tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and
toss in a bowl with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and
pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown
and crunchy, about 30 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan.
Meanwhile, make farro according to package instructions,
using remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, brown
sugar, water, garlic and chile. Whisk well. If too strong,
add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Place dressing on the bottom of 4 tall containers. Portion
out roasted chickpeas into each container, and layer farro,
feta, carrots and cilantro. Refrigerate until serving.
serving: 504 calories; 16 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 38 mg
cholesterol; 21 g protein; 73 g carbohydrate; 20 g sugar; 12
g fiber; 1,866 mg sodium; 335 mg calcium.
from a recipe by Ziploc.
ORANGE AND ARUGULA SALAD
tablespoon orange juice, preferably fresh
teaspoon balsamic vinegar
tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
and pepper to taste
tablespoons grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
large or 4 small cooked beets, peeled and sliced
pound oranges, peeled and pith removed, cut into slices,
half-moons or supremes
tablespoons chopped cilantro
cup chopped walnuts (1 ounce)
a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the orange
juice, balsamic vinegar, sherry or red wine vinegar, salt,
pepper and oils. Taste and adjust the acidity, adding a
little more vinegar or orange juice if desired.
Place dressing in 4 tall containers. Portion out beets into
each container. Add layers of arugula, oranges, cilantro and
walnuts. Refrigerate until serving.
serving: 244 calories; 19 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 3 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 13 g sugar; 5 g
fiber; 55 mg sodium; 84 mg calcium.
from the New York Times