Sesame Chicken Cabbage Salad

Summertime reminds me of salads. And salads remind me of potlucks. A gathering of people all offering one of their kitchen’s favorite dishes. And lots of salads. Potato salad, macaroni salad, green salad, strawberry and spinach salad – you get the idea. My mother worked at a pediatric dental office for years and years. I worked at that same dental office as a teenager and through college. And every summer both when I was a kid, and later on as a teenager, we would have an office potluck. And people would bring salads. There was one co-worker in particular, Donna with the perpetual smile and good cheer, who was something of a foodie, long before it was cool to be such a thing, whose food I remember with ease. Her sesame chicken cabbage salad recipe circulated the office for years, long after she retired and found its way into my recipe box.

I’ve tweaked it slightly (substituting red cabbage for green and fussing with the measures for the dressing) but it’s essentially how I remember it from my childhood. This particular salad is hearty enough to stand alone as a meal, and the cabbage can withstand the dressing without getting soggy for a few days.

Sesame Chicken Cabbage Salad

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Salad
1 small head red cabbage
2 packages ramen noodles
2 cups peas
1 bunch green onions
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cups sliced almonds

1 lb cooked chicken, chopped

Dressing
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 package ramen seasoning (oriental flavor)
3 tablespoons sugar

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Chop the cabbage. I chose to use red cabbage only because if given the choice, I will choose purple food over non-purple food. And it looks fantastic in my green salad bowl.

Crunch up the ramen noodles, reserving one packet of the seasoning for the dressing and add to the cabbage. Layer on the peas, green onions, almonds and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk together oils, red wine vinegar, ramen seasoning and sugar until emulsified.

Top with chicken. Pour dressing over salad and stir to incorporate.

Bright and colorful. Just how I like my food … and all things in my life.

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