Request Line! Lime and Peanut Coleslaw

Summer is a time for terrific sides, and my friend Christopher sent me a yummy-looking request for Lime and Peanut Coleslaw from 101cookbooks.com. I’m a coleslaw fan for sure, but I rarely stray from the mayonnaise-based standard, so I was excited to give this one a try.

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of unsalted raw peanuts, but Central Market didn’t have any in the bulk section and I couldn’t will myself to shell that many peanuts. I bought dry roasted unsalted organic peanuts instead. I still toasted them in a skillet over medium for about 8 minutes as the recipe suggested.

Next, I cut half of a medium-large cabbage into two quarters. (Cabbage type wasn’t specified in the recipe and Savoy cabbage looked the best at Central Market, so that’s what I bought. Regular old green cabbage would be perfect.) I cut out the core and used a sharp knife to cut the cabbage into the thinnest strands I could manage. I also quartered a pint of grape tomatoes and chopped 3/4 cup of cilantro.

To make the dressing, I whisked together 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. I combined the cabbage, tomatoes, and cilantro in a serving bowl, added the dressing, and tossed gently to coat. I folded in the peanuts just before serving.

I really wanted to love this one. I really did. On the plus side, the peanuts add great texture to the dish. There’s just something missing. Heidi at 101cookbooks.com said the inspiration for the dish was eating peanuts with salt and lime in Mexico City… I think some cumin or chili powder in the dressing might have livened things up a bit. An Asian twist could have worked as well, with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and scallions.

It was fine – don’t get me wrong – but this isn’t the kind of dish where I’d seek out the recipe if I ate it at a party. I do feel like a master cabbage slicer now, though. 🙂

TIPS: If you decide to give this one a try, I would recommend letting the cabbage, tomato, cilantro and dressing sit together in the refrigerator for around 20 minutes before serving. I tasted the slaw right after I dressed it and I thought the lime was just too overpowering. The flavors blended much better after a bit of time had passed. As Heidi suggested, though, add the peanuts just before serving so they don’t get soggy.

Recipe link: Lime and Peanut Coleslaw

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