moosewood cookbook’s thai salad

July 13, 2011

I’ve been meaning to share this salad with you and what better time than now, when temperatures are soaring and hearty, filling salads are what a lot of us crave in order to sustain us through the heady summer months.

The truth about this salad is that it’s not a strictly summertime affair. We’ve enjoyed more helpings of it in the cooler months than on warm or hot days. It’s so wholly satisfying that it’s appropriate whenever. And that’s what is so glorious about it.

This salad has a fair number of ingredients – don’t be deterred. You’ll feel so good about eating it and so happy you discovered it. That’s how I’ve felt about several things in The New Moosewood Cookbook. When I want something healthy and fresh, I turn here.

I haven’t opened is as frequently as How to Cook Everything or as lustily as I have with Ottolenghi, and yet it’s a great home cook’s book. So much is fresh (soups! salads!) and all of it is vegetarian. It’s a great year-round book to turn to for salads like this and so much more – Mollie Katzen knows her stuff.

What you’ll get from this salad is multi-layered levels of happiness. How cool is that?! Filling, crunchy-fried tofu; fresh, juicy tomatoes; crisp bell peppers and lettuce; warm, starchy slices of potato; fluffy-centred hard boiled eggs; sweet, bright slivers of carrot; crunchy peanuts; fragrant, zingy cilantro; and finally, {finally!} the dreamiest creamy peanut dressing. It’s ALL happening in this salad.

You’ll eat this and wonder why you’re not making it at least once a week. I wonder that same thing every time I make it.

Thai Salad
from The New Moosewood Cookbook

The Dressing


  • 6 tbsp good peanut butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1 to 11/2 tsp salt
  • 3 to 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • crushed red pepper or cayenne, to taste
  • 2 tsp lemon or lime juice


  1. Place the peanut butter in a small bowl. Whisk in the water and beat until well combined. Stir in remaining ingredients. Season to taste.

The Salad


  • 1 medium head crisp lettuce (romaine is good)
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 small bell pepper, in thin strips
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, in bite-sized chunks
  • 2 medium (fist sized potatoes), boiled and sliced
  • 4 to 6 hardboiled eggs, cut in wedges
  • 3 cakes tofu, diced and fried
  • a small handful fresh cilantro, to scatter on top
  • a scattering of peanuts, to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve


  1.  Pile up everything in a provocative yet compelling arrangement. Drizzle the dressing on top and enjoy.

Also, check out my recipe for Pad Thai which includes tales of my travels to Thailand.

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