Summer Slaw + Sunsets

I recently reunited with friends from study abroad at our classmate's wedding in Texas. We'd never been to Houston before, but boy, we sure did find our fill of Tex-Mex. As I snapped food photos and tried to get the right angles so our gluttony appeared mildly artistic, I got a few comments on my 'food snaps'. Apparently they drive my friends a little wild when they're hungry at work. Or home and eating not the tastiest foods. (oopsie!)

It occurred to me that I'm still taking photos, but haven't given little RFA much love lately. (RFA, how do we feel about that? doesn't exactly have a ring to it... but ima leave it here for now)

So I thought, what have I been making a ton of lately? Salads!!! Summer salads! While we're a little obsessed with our kale caesars lately (hoping to do a future post on that) I thought I might show a Summer Slaw that we made for our neighbor's move in-grad acceptance-35th bday celebration bbq. It was super simple and refreshing. And sans mayo or something that you'd worry about in the summer heat - not that you'd be worried in Berkeley, I think the hottest it's been is like 73. What IS this place? I digress...

In addition to summer salads, we've been loving chasing the summer sun(sets) and filling days to the brim with biking and exploring the city. It's been beautiful to just go outside and watch the sun create fun shadows on the house and dance through the trees. On summer solstice, we both raced home to eat dinner and pack our jackets to drive into the Berkeley hills to catch the sunset over the Golden Gate bridge. We were there just in time! Thought it'd be fun to share a few of those sunset-y pics. :)

I imagine we'll be making more summer salads while we can. Our tomatoes and little lettuces are popping up in the garden like crazy now. Hooray for veggies!!! Do I say that enough?

Summer Asian Slaw
Makes 1 big bowl of slaw ;)

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1/2 small purple cabbage
1/2 small cabbage
1 small onion
1 Tb salt
1 Tb sugar
rice wine vinegar
sesame oil
sesame seeds
canola oil
soy sauce

Wash bell peppers and discard the seeds and white fleshy parts. Slice into thin strips about 2-3 inches long. Toss into your big bowl to set aside. Thinly slice onion by cutting it in half, then half width-wise. If your onion is strong, then consider only using half the onion.

Peel off any dirty outer layers of cabbage. Then get your sick knife skills ready and chop cabbage as thin as you can. If the cabbage is too wide, then cut off a manageable chunk, then thinly slice into pieces about the same size as the bell pepper. Do this for both the red and regular cabbage. Toss into the bowl with your bell peppers.

Lightly salt the raw veggies in the bowl with about a tablespoon of table salt. This draws the water out of the veggies so your dressing can soak in. After a minute or two get your hand in the bowl and scrunch the veggies a bit to draw out the liquid. Do this for about a minute. Then use a paper towel to lightly soak up the excess water. Just toss it on top of the mixture and give it a squeeze. Your veggies should look slightly less raw and softer.

Now time to add the dressing ingredients! Lightly dust the top with sugar, then drizzle over your sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss. Then add pepper and sesame seeds to the top and toss thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 20 min before serving to let flavors soak in.

Then eat! Serve with other great summer salads, potstickers, or on top of BBQ salmon. OK I see what my friends are talking about with the food snaps. I'm hungry now.