Before you keep reading, you need to know I put those quotation marks in the title on purpose. I can’t stand it when they’re used the wrong way (to add emphasis, for example), but I used them here because although the Moosewood cookbook calls this Thai salad, I never ate anything like this in Thailand. I don’t think anyone in Thailand even cooks with peanut butter, so how this is Thai, I’m not sure.
But what it is (Thai or not), is delicious. A whole slew of different vegetables, tofu, and hard boiled eggs tossed together in a subtle garlicky peanut dressing (not too unlike this one in another of my favorite salads).
The original recipe called for an entire cup of boiling water in the dressing, which only has 6 tbsp peanut butter. That gives you some incredibly watered-down dressing, so I would start with 1/3 of a cup and add more if you want the dressing thinner. I had FAR more dressing than I needed for the salad, but it keeps well in the refrigerator and is delicious on just about any vegetable you put it on.
adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
6 tbsp peanut butter
1/3 cup boiling water
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
a pinch or two of salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lime
Put all ingredients in a mini-prep or Magic Bullet and mix until smooth. To make by hand, put the peanut butter in a small bowl and whisk in the water until smooth, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
4-6 cups thinly sliced spinach, lettuce, and cabbage
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 medium waxy potatoes, sliced and boiled until tender
4 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 avocado, thinly sliced
8 ounces extra firm nigari tofu, thinly sliced and cut into triangles
a generous handful cilantro
Heat a well seasoned skillet over medium-high and add the tofu in a single layer (cook in two batches if necessary). Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Toss the spinach, cabbage and lettuce together with some of the dressing (amount will depend on how heavily-dressed you like your salads).
Place the dressed greens in individual wide, shallow bowls or on plates.
Arrange the remaining vegetables, egg, and tofu on top of the lettuce, then serve with additional dressing on the side.