Indonesian Mixed Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing
Total time: 1 hour
2 medium red potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups cauliflower, cut into flowerets
2 cups green beans, sliced diagonally
2 cups mung bean sprouts
2 cups watercress, trimmed and rinsed
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced into ¼" slices
1 cup unsalted peanuts
½ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. shrimp paste
1 tbsp. minced garlic
¼ cup chopped onions
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili flakes or paste
1 tsp. brown sugar
3-½ cups water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Garnish3 large, sliced tomatoes
3 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
1 lb. cubed bean curd
2 cups vegetable oil
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes until they are cooked but not mushy. Remove from the heat, rinse with cold water, peel and set aside to cool completely.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Boil each batch of vegetables separately, using a colander for easy removal: carrots and cauliflower for 4 minutes each, green beans for 3 minutes, cabbage for 2 minutes, bean sprouts and watercress for 2 minutes each. Rinse each batch of vegetables with cold water and set aside in separate bowls. Cut each potato in half, slice into ¼" half moons, and add to the bowl; then add the cucumbers.
To make the dressing, heat vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the peanuts, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Drain 2 tablespoons of oil back into the pan, discard the rest, and set the peanuts aside. In a food processor or blender, combine the shrimp paste, garlic, onions and salt. Heat the frying pan again, pour in the paste and fry for a minute. Add chili flakes or paste and sugar, stir well to combine, then pour in the water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Pound or grind the peanuts into a powder. Add this powder to the dressing and simmer until it thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
In a large, shallow serving dish, arrange the vegetables cabbage on the bottom, then watercress and string beans, then carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cucumber and bean sprouts piled in a mound on top. Garnish with egg and tomato slices. Fry the bean curd cubes in hot vegetable oil until brown and crispy, then drain and scatter over the top of the salad. Pour the warm dressing over all, and serve.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook