We love the ease of feeding ourselves a rainbow of nutrition in high summer in Vermont!
You never know what you will find at the farm stands and farmers markets in July in Vermont, but it’s a sure bet there will be lots from which to choose and enjoy.
This week, I found everything I was looking for, and then some. Beautiful purple Napa cabbage caught my eye, crunchy and flavorful looking. The leaves were so delightful, I knew I would stuff them with other delicious vegetables. New carrots, snow peas, and peppers would provide even more color and nutrition. You could also add cucumbers, green beans, radishes, kohlrabi, or many other treasures here, just pick something to blanch quickly so there’s still a lot of texture. This is a perfect place to chop up those neglected broccoli stems, and the new broccoli is so tender and flavorful right now.
Use an organic, natural peanut butter with no additives. The ingredients in my house peanut butter are peanuts and salt, no sugars or preservatives. If you don’t like crunchy, you can use smooth.
Eat your rainbow, delightfully!
A rainbow of color and texture, this salad is quick to put together, the chopping will take the most time, but we’re only talking a few minutes here!
Serve this individually as a starter for a dinner party, or eat your fill and call it supper! Just over a hundred calories per stuffed leaf, you’ll get almost all your Vitamin C, as well as substantial amounts of Vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and protein and fiber. It’s dairy and gluten free, and vegan as well.
The second act
The next day, I chopped everything up, noodles and sauce and all, added a few more chopped cabbage leaves, another drizzle of sesame oil, and we called it lunch!
Flavorful, crunchy, and beautifully textured, as well as easy to assemble and enjoy. Perfect for summer.
Stuffed Napa Cabbage Leaves with Peanut Sauce
- 8 large leaves Napa cabbage
- 3 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 small or ½ yellow bell pepper, fine dice
- 1 small or ½ red bell pepper, fine dice
- 1 carrot, fine dice
- 4 oz. snow peas, sliced diagonal
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- Peanut sauce, below
Arrange the cabbage leaves on a large platter and set aside.
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the vermicelli noodles, cover, and remove from the heat. Let set for 10 minutes, then scoop out the noodles to a sieve, drain and rinse in cold water. Put the water back on to boil.
Chop the peppers, carrots, and snow peas. Add to the boiling water and cook for about a minute, just long enough to slightly soften and set the lovely colors. Remove to a sieve, chill with cold water, and drain.
Place vegetables in a large bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide and mound the noodles at the base of the cabbage leaves and divide and scoop out the vegetables on top.
Serve with the peanut sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions, reserved from the sauce below, a bit more salt and pepper. You can also top with chopped peanuts if you have them on hand.
Dorothy’s Peanut Butter Sauce
This sauce can be used in a dozen different ways. Top a protein, dip an egg roll, toss with noodles, etc. It is flavorful and well balanced.
- ¼ cup chunky natural peanut butter
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. low sodium tamari
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- Scant ¼ tsp. cayenne or hot sauce to taste
- 2 scallions, sliced small on diagonal, divided
- Water to thin
Reserve some of the dark greens from the scallions for garnish, then mix everything else together in a small saucepan. Warm to melt the peanut butter.
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