Crisp shredded summer vegetables come together with a spicy-creamy dressing in this fresh summer salad that is the perfect side for any of your summer meals.
Summer has firmly established its humid grasp on Brisbane and our appetites are changing in response to the longer days and warmer nights. When people in Australia talk about the weather, we aren’t just being polite and passing time. The weather here is a living, breathing entity unto itself. An afternoon thunderstorm can bloom in a clear blue sky and bring a city to its knees; the streets become canals and suburbs become islands. A long, clear stretch of blue skies and hot days with no relief cracks the land and drives stoic farmers to tears. Here in the land down under we are in tune with the weather because this wide, red land demands that we are.
I try to live in tune to the seasons, try to tailor what we eat to how our appetites respond to the weather outside. Our thunderstorm last week heralded the beginning of our summer season. The days have been reaching for higher and higher temperatures and come nightfall we aren’t craving our usual weekly rotation of pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes. Our bodies are ready for bright summer vegetables in large quantities, we are ready for clean spicy flavours and the crunch of freshness.
It’s time to bring out bright, brash, bountiful salads to pair with Chris’s fish and my chickpeas and this one delivers on flavour, crunch, and substance – and it’s midweek-after-work-easy too! All things that are a must have for summer sides in our house. First you shred some carrot and zucchini (super easy with a julienne peeler), add some finely sliced capsicum and green onion, toss through roughly chopped coriander (or Thai basil if you aren’t a coriander fan – Mum…) and then anoint each portion with the spicy red onion, lime juice,and coconut milk dressing. A perfect combination of flavours, heat and spice, cool and crunchy for the stormy summer ahead.
If you are cooking for younger, or more delicate tummies you can reduce the red curry paste or just use a sprinkling of curry powder instead. If you want to make this ahead simply leave the salad and dressing separate until serving. This vegan, gluten free, clean salad is perfect for every member of the family (and bikini friendly too, ahem) and will be on high rotation in the Thoroughly Nourished house all summer long.
Serves 2 generously, easily multiplied | Gluten Free | Vegan
Note: I served my vegetarian portion with some chickpeas and extra macadamia nuts, while Chris suggests some panko crusted baked chicken breast.
Also, note: this recipe makes a large quantity of dressing. If you do not use the whole amount (we certainly didn’t) it will last up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge. It also makes an excellent marinade for chicken breasts.
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1/2 medium red capsicum
- 2 stalks green (spring) onion
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
- 2/3 cup light coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
- Julienne (or very thinly slice) carrots and zucchini and place in a large bowl.
- Thinly slice red capsicum and green onions and add to bowl.
- Roughly chop coriander and add to vegetables. With clean hands (or salad servers) toss everything until well mixed.
- To make dressing: whisk together light coconut milk, lime juice, crushed garlic, and red curry paste.
- Pour desired amount of dressing (see note) over salad and sprinkle with macadamia nuts. Serve immediately.
Do you try to keep your eating in line with the seasons? What is your body craving right now? I think mine might be a little confused by all the wonderful treats my Northern Hemisphere friends keep making because I am craving peppermint after seeing this post today!
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