I find food magazines to be a huge inspiration for my cooking, but truth be told, I do not cook from them as much. Most of the time, I use their recipes as a starting point to create something totally different. However, when I saw the title for this Crunchy Veggie Bowl with Warm Peanut Dressing in last month’s Bon Appetit, I got really excited. It said, “Warm Dressing Changes Everything”. I immediately looked at the recipe and found out that it was a Thai-style peanut butter based sauce made with Thai chiles, garlic, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Nothing earth shattering, right? I have made similar dressing many times in the past.
But I had never thought about warming it up. It was a genius idea.
After a quick trip to the supermarket to get the veggies, I made it for dinner for that evening. And let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. The warm peanut dressing mixed in with Napa cabbage, golden beets, celery, cucumber, Mung bean sprouts, and fresh herbs were in fact, crunchy and delicious.
As it was suggested in the recipe, I topped it off with Bon Appetit’s 7-minute eggs with whites set and yolks still soft and runny. After finishing our first bowls, both Dwight and I agreed that this recipe had to be shared here on the blog.
About the recipe:
Making this veggie bowl is pretty easy. The best thing to do is to start with making the dressing. Simply pulse everything in a food processor and warm it up in a saucepan. If you want to save time, feel free to make it ahead. As long as you keep it in an airtight jar in the fridge, it will keep its freshness for up to 3 days. Just warm it up whenever you are ready to serve.
The crunchy part of the recipe is all about chopping up a bunch of vegetables. As you can see in the photo above, I placed all of them in a large salad bowl. Having them all in one big bowl came in handy when it was time to give them a big mix.
If you are not serving this recipe all in one meal, keep the veggies separate from the dressing and brown rice. If you cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge, it will still be fresh for the next 2 days.
Finally, the original recipe uses brown rice as a base for these bowls, but I used brown rice pasta instead, because as you may have read in this creamy mushroom pasta recipe, it is our new favorite type of pasta. The recipe below serves four people. However, if you are serving it to less than 4 people, I recommend cooking just the amount of pasta you will use. Because similar to regular pasta, brown rice pasta is freshest on the day that it is cooked. Like I mentioned earlier, make sure to mix the veggies, pasta, and warm dressing right before serving.
If you are trying to get your family to eat a big bowl of crispy julienned veggies, give this recipe a try. And don’t be surprised when they ask for more. Because like it said in the magazine, warm dressing changes everything.
On Styling and Photography for this post:
Props and styling: The blue-ish bowls I used in this post are from East Fork Pottery. The small wood bowl that the peanut sauce is in was a gift and it was from a local wood store in Tortola, BVI. The apron I was wearing is from Fog Linen. The blue napkin is from Crate and Barrel.
Photography: I took all these photos with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using either my Canon EF 35mm f/2 or Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 . They were all taken in natural light. For the photos with me in it, I used my tripod MANFROTTO 190XPRO3 with my tripod head Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Joystick Head.
In terms of editing, I used a preset I created based on VSCO film Package 1’s Portra 400 that I usually use for most of my photos on this blog. If you want to see the exposure values for each photo and more photos for this photoshoot, check out (and follow) my Flickr account.
Do you want to buy these photos? Thank you! You can purchase these photos and all my other photos in my Picture Pantry Library.
Crunchy Veggie Bowl with Warm Peanut Dressing
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Asian
- For the Warm Peanut Dressing:
- 2 red Thai chiles, seeded and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, I used Trader Joes’ unsweetened peanut butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- For the Veggie Bowl:
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 package brown rice pasta
- 1 1/2 cups of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 golden beet, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup peanuts, lightly salted
- To make the dressing: Place chiles, garlic, peanut butter, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Transfer the sauce into a small saucepan and add in 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add in if necessary.
- To make the Veggie Bowl: Place the eggs in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and transfer them into a bowl of ice water. Let them cool for 10 minutes. Drain and peel. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the brown rice pasta according to the instructions on the package. When cooked reserve a cup of its liquid and drain. Set aside.
- As the eggs and pasta are cooking, place all the vegetables (cabbage, scallions, beets, celery, cucumber, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint) in a large bowl.
- Gently fold the cooked brown rice pasta into the vegetables. If the pasta is sticking to each other use a little bit of the reserved liquid. Pour half of the warm dressing over and give everything a gently mix.
- Divide the salad into 4 large bowls. Place an egg on top of each veggie bowl. Sprinkle them with peanuts. Serve them with the rest of the warm peanut dressing on the side.
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine’s Cruncy Veg Bowl with Warm Peanut Dressing recipe.
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