Monday, March 1, 2010

Grilled Cabbage Slaw w/ Yogurt Miso Dressing

*sigh*....I LOVE summer. But wait...March has JUST begun! Summer?...March?...oh of the greatest reasons why I am so loyal to the golden state. On the last day of February 2010, the temperature was 68 and sunny, and I was wearing flip flops and a tank top, getting more than my daily required dose of Vitamin D au naturel on my friend's front porch. Are my friends in the north east and mid west jealous?... probably just a little. *sorry guys!*

Grilling party! So what to make? I will provide 100% transparency here and admit that it was a VERY slow Sunday morning due to a crazy Saturday night. That said, I was very limited on time, and the busy weekend didn't allow for any pre-planning or meat marinating, so I thought a basic coleslaw would be good - but no...too boring, and I wouldn't get to use the grill! So, I thought, what the heck, why not just throw the cabbage ON the grill? And thus, the grilled cabbage slaw was born. Caramelizing the cabbage on a hot grill would give it a rich nutty flavor. To brighten it up a bit, I had a barely used bunch of mint in the fridge that I could bring w/ me, peanuts would be great for crunch, and cilantro....just because I like cilantro.

As for the dressing, I needed to make do with what I had in the fridge which included miso paste and non-fat greek yogurt. In my rush to get to the party, I hopped out of the shower, wrapped myself in my bathrobe and ran to the kitchen. I literally just scooped a bunch of yogurt into a jar, spooned in some miso paste, and added in whatever other ingredients I thought would go well with it, then prayed. I slapped on the lid, shook it up, tasted it, adjusted and threw it in the fridge while I got ready. On the way out, I stopped by the closest grocery store, a little Korean market, to pick up the cabbage, cilantro, and peanuts. I had everything in hand, but couldn't for the life of me find peanuts! They carried bags of whole unshelled boiled peanuts...and unshelled roasted peanuts...raw shelled peanuts, but I just wanted a jar of ready to go roasted PEANUTS! Where's the peanut man with top hat and cane?! Why doesn't a Korean market have ready to go shelled peanuts!?!?! Even your average gas station has them
! I almost wished I needed gas, but luckily I didn't, and found a fun substitute. Instead of a peanut man with top hat, I found little yellow circle man looking down on me with a big smile. He sat on a tall can full of crunchy sesame balls, each w/ a little peanut inside. Why not? The salad turned out great - a fun creation originating from lack of time....and lack of peanuts.


For the dressing (Note that the quantities should be viewed as 'more or less' due to the nature under which this dressing was created):
1 Cup Greek Yogurt
3 Tbs Miso Paste
3 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Sesame Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sriracha chili sauce
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

For the greens:
1 small green cabbage, quartered lengthwise, with the stem keeping each quarter in tact
1 small red cabbage, quartered the same way
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 bunch mint
1 bunch cilantro
1 can of sesame balls, lightly crunched up (or.....1.5 Cups of roasted salted peanuts)
1 lime, zest and juice

Throw all of the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously so that the honey and miso paste is dissolved and there are no clumps. Set aside in the refrigerator

Rub olive oil over each of the cabbage quarters, and season w/ salt and pepper. Place each quarter of cabbage on a hot grill cut side down for 2-3 minutes each or until there are grill marks. The grill should be covered. Remove from grill onto a cutting board and slice cabbage into thin strips

While the cabbage is grilling, chop cilantro and tear off the mint leaves in a large salad bowl. Add sliced cabbage and toss with all of the dressing. Add crunched up sesame balls (or peanuts), lime zest, lime juice and toss again until well combined.