…well yes, but this time almost served as a side dish to two other salads.
I recently hosted my neighborhood bunco group for our once a month gathering. Have you ever played bunco? It’s a fun reason to get together with a great group of women. The hostess is in charge of serving dinner, drinks and dessert. Yeah, it is a lot of work. On the flip side, it is great when you get to show up and do nothing but throw $10 in the prize bowl.
Anyway, my experience with the group is to plan what I call ‘chick food’: lots of vegetables, light on the meat. A few Fridays ago the menu was a yummy peanut noodle salad loaded with fresh veggies, a tossed green salad and slices of pork tenderloin I marinated 3 days ahead and threw in the oven a ½ hour before everyone arrived. I’ll share the pork recipe another time. It is a LONGTIME keeper recipe my family loves. Like almost to the point of disappointment if I serve pork tenderloin any other way.
This pasta salad is a great make ahead recipe. The dressing can be made a couple of days early, the rest you can make day of, before the crowd arrives. It is great serve if you are headed to a potluck and sits well at room temperature. Like with all of my recipes, tweak the recipe to fit your taste. Serve with the veggies you like. Add some hot sesame oil or chile paste to the dressing. Snow peas, zucchini ‘noodles’, or whatever else you have on hand would taste great, too. If you don’t like cilantro use parsley.
Here’s what I did:
I made the dressing the day before. Double the recipe so you can serve extra on the side.
I prepped the veggies and noodles in the morning and refrigerated.
I ‘zoodled’ the English cucumber with this spiralizer. I wouldn’t actually recommend this if you were tossing ahead of time. The cuke kind of melted and ended up super thin. Next time if I was tossing ahead of time I would cut the cucumber into chunks.
The salad was tossed right before everyone arrived and served about an hour later. You could toss and serve at room temperature immediately if you weren’t making it ahead.
Peanut Noodle Salad
½ pound linguine
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons dark sesame oil (I used combo of dark and hot sesame oil)
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup smooth peanut butter (crunchy works too if that is all you have)
2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, sliced in thin strips or chunks
2-3 Carrots, slice thin
4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally (these were always called green onions when I was a kid)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
For the dressing, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger and peanut butter in a medium bowl.
Combine the linguine, cucumber, carrot, peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the parsley/cilantro and toss together.
My inspiration came from Ina Garten’s Crunchy Noodle Salad.