It has been a very hot July with hardly any rain. I have been trying to keep the house cool by cooking foods on the stove or the grill rather than turning on the oven. This delicious Indonesian vegetable salad is great for summer because all the preparation is done on the stove. I had this dish years ago as part of an Indonesian Rijsttafel dinner in the Netherlands and made it often after our trip, but then it fell out of my menu rotation. I have recently started making it again. You can prepare it in stages: boil potatoes and eggs the day before you are serving, then finish cooking the remainder the day of serving. This may not be an authentic recipe, but it is one our family enjoys.
Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup coconut milk
1 Thai chili, finely sliced (optional)
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
a dash of salt, or to taste
In a 1-quart sauce pan heat oil on medium heat. When oil is hot but not smoking add garlic and cook 1 minute to soften. Add peanut butter and whisk to melt it. Whisk in coconut milk. Stir until it thickens slightly. It should only take 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and let cook 1-2 minutes until smooth. Let cool a bit before using.
5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled whole in their skins until tender, then peeled and cut in large cubes
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced and rinsed
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal about 1/4-inch thick
1 cup Romano flat or other green beans
Begin by boiling potatoes until tender. Cool slightly ,then peel and cut into large cubes. Hard boil the eggs, then let cool. Peel eggs and slice in half. Place sliced cabbage in a 4-quart pot and cover with cold water. Add a little salt and a teaspoon of butter and bring to a boil. Cook until the cabbage just wilts a little but still retains a little crunch. Once the water boils, it should only take a minute or two. Drain cabbage and run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain excess water, then place cabbage in a large flat serving dish. Place red bell pepper slices on top. Sprinkle with a little salt. Drizzle with a 2-3 tablespoons peanut sauce. Rinse out the same pot, add clean water and a little salt. Bring to a boil, then add carrots and green beans. Cook 4-5 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender. Drain and run under cold water. Drain excess water, then place on top of red peppers and cabbage. Sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons peanut sauce. Add cooked potatoes to the salad. Place eggs around the edges. Sprinkle with a little more salt. Drizzle with more peanut sauce. You should still have about 1/2 cup or more peanut sauce left. Serve peanut sauce on the side for people to add to their individual portions. Serves 6.