Have you ever thought of using peanuts as a main ingredient for your salad? I am not talking as a topping, no. Main ingredient. Well, in fact you can! Since peanuts are really not a nut, but are part of the legume family, they are more like a bean than what we usually use them for, a culinary nut. Adds some interesting variations to your lunchtime routine, adds protein to your salad, and is tasty, sounds like a win-win to me! Now stop, don’t go running to that vending machine and get some Mr.Peanut for it. Nonono. You will need to find yourself RAW peanuts. But that’s really easy to do, many Asian and Indian stores have them in stock, in fact the, and you can use them shelled or with the papery shell, husk, whatever it’s called, left on. After cooking it won’t matter. So it really comes down to a color preference. In the past I have used shelled and de-husked peanuts, but the salad in these pictures was made with shelled-but-red-husk-left-on peanuts, mainly because I had them and after some research on the internet I found that it can be left on without detriment to taste or health 😉
- 2 cups raw, shelled peanuts (red husk removed, if desired)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 chili peppers, finely died (depending on your tolerance for hot, use only a half)
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice,
- olive oil
- In a saucepan bring the peanuts, covered generously with water, to a boil and the bay leaf covered in water. Cook for about 30 minutes or until peanuts are soft enough that you can easily crumble them when pressed with a fork.
- Discard the bay leaf. Drain and rinse the cooked peanuts.
- In a salad bowl, toss the peanuts, tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, chili peppers and lemon juice, drizzle with a touch of olive oil (speak 1-2 teaspoons) and serve.
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