Recipe: Anna Jones’ Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad
Shredded carrots have a firm crunch and sturdy bite that rival all other vegetables, and when they get thrown in a mix like this glorious salad, they are an essential supporting player. But it’s not just about the carrots and their sweetness here in this Thai-inspired hash — it’s also about the cabbage, the grapefruit, the zucchini, and so much more.
Anna Jones is a cook and writer from London who got her start in Jamie Oliver’s restaurants and on his creative team. If you love vegetables, her cookbook A Modern Way to Eat is one to nab.
She explains that this salad gets its inspiration from pad Thai. “Unlike pad Thai, though, you’ll notice there aren’t any noodles here — instead, ribbons of zucchini and carrot take their place. I make this salad all year round: In autumn and winter I swap the basil for more cilantro and the zucchini for celeriac or parsnip.
This is a really refreshing, crunchy salad that has a lot going on: sweet zucchini and carrots, mild cabbage, earthy bell peppers, and some sweet-sour zing from grapefruit and lime. The cashew dressing was really easy to buzz together and reminded me of an Asian peanut sauce — it would also make a great dipping sauce.
– Christine, June 2015
Anna Jones' Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad
For the salad:
medium carrots, peeled
small head green or napa cabbage
medium red bell pepper
medium pink grapefruit
Leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil
large bunch fresh cilantro
good handfuls bean sprouts
For the dressing:
- 2/3 cup
handful (about 3 1/2 ounces) raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight in water if you have time
Juice of 2 medium limes
- 2 tablespoons
tamari or soy sauce
dried medjool dates, pitted
(3/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
small red Thai chiles, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 clove
garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
Handful cashews, crushed or coarsely chopped
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini and carrots into ribbons and place them in a big bowl — it's okay to leave a little bit of the middle behind for the sake of your fingers. Shred the cabbage finely, slice the red pepper and scallions as finely as you can, and add to the bowl; set aside.
Use a knife and cut the peel from the grapefruit and limes. Cut out all the segments from both, leaving the pith and membrane behind. Place the segments in a medium bowl and mash them up so you are left with little juicy jewels of lime and grapefruit. Add to the bowl or vegetables.
Coarsely chop the basil and cilantro. Add all the basil, 1/2 the cilantro, and all the bean sprouts to the bowl of vegetables. (This can refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
When ready to serve, make the dressing by putting all the ingredients in a blender and blending until just thick enough to coat and hold onto the vegetables. If it's too thick, thin with a little more water. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Top with the crushed cashews and remaining cilantro. This salad is best eaten immediately.
No blender dressing: If you don't have a blender, mash the dates in a bowl until you have a paste, then finely chop the cashews, ginger, garlic, and chile, and stir in the lime juice and soy sauce.
Make ahead: The salad and dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Store separately and toss together just before serving.
Reprinted with permission from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.