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From the Field: Lime-Sesame Slaw with Cilantro and Peanuts

Addie Broyles

I’ve been overwhelmed with cabbage and carrots lately.

They are two ingredients that have appeared in just about every community-supported agriculture box I’ve received since January. We’ve roasted both of them, used the carrots in soup and eaten them by themselves, but I pretty quickly realized that slaw was going to be the answer to many of my questions that begin with “What else can I do with (fill in the blank with a winter vegetable)?”

In today food section, I explore all the things you can do with slaw, including cabbage- and mayo-free versions that will please those of us who think we don’t like slaw because of one or both of those ingredients. In that story, we have a whopping seven recipes for slaw, including one made with pistachios, apples and endive, but this lime-sesame slaw with cilantro and peanuts is my favorite.

I served it at a school potluck last week, and I knew it was a hit when the parents were going back for seconds and asking me for the recipe. With the sesame oil and soy sauce, it definitely has an Asian bent, but you could take it in a Tex-Mex direction pretty easily with just a few tweaks, like swapping the sesame oil with a vegetable oil or sour cream and using a Mexican hot sauce instead of the chili garlic sauce.

Lime-Sesame Slaw with Cilantro and Peanuts

This is a mash-up of a few slaw recipes I liked: One was heavy on the cilantro, the other on the sesame lime dressing. The dish reminds me of my mother-in-law’s Chinese Cabbage Salad, which calls for crushed dried ramen noodles and nearly a cup of sugar in the dressing, and you could certainly add a package of Top Ramen to this if you’re looking for even more crunch. I’m a huge cilantro fan; adjust the amount of cilantro or replace with parsley if you’re not.

For the dressing:

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 Tbsp. agave nectar, honey or sugar

2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (can use sriracha or other Asian-style hot sauce)

2 Tbsp. canola or peanut oil

For the slaw:

1 head cabbage, cored and shredded (can be red, green, napa, or any combination; you’ll need about 6 cups cabbage in all)

2-3 carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

3/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients and reserve.

Place the shredded cabbage, carrots, peanuts, green onion and cilantro in a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss. Add dressing and mix thoroughly to combine. Let slaw rest for an hour so that some of the liquid from the cabbage releases. Toss again and add peanuts just before serving.

— Addie Broyles