The first recipe that jumped off the page was Hugh's Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad. This salad initially caught my eye because it was so very gorgeous! Long strands of noodles tossed in a fresh Asian-inspired dressing with lots of verdant green veggies and a sprinkling of crunchy peanuts. Who wouldn't enjoy something with all that color and texture? Of course it helped that I had all the ingredients on hand and I also knew the dish would keep extremely well.
So I got started by whisking together a bright and zingy dressing composed of lime juice, chile, garlic, rice vinegar, with a touch of brown sugar, oil, and soy sauce. Then I mixed the dressing with a couple handfuls of steamed snow peas and snap peas, noodles, thinly sliced cucumber, and topped it all off with crunchy roasted peanuts and a good hearty sprinkling of mint, basil, and cilantro for a very light and refreshing pasta salad that satisfies.
This is the type of thing that is even better the next day and is therefore great for packing up in mason jars and taking on the go. I plan on throwing it in my bag to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.
Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad
Adapted from River Cottage Veg
By Hugh Fearnley-Whittstall
Serves 4-6 generously
1/2 cup raw peanuts
7 ounces noodles (spaghetti or similar)
5 ounces green beans or snow peas, or combo
1/2 English cucumber
6 green onions
12 basil leaves (Thai, if possible) coarsely torn
small bunch of mint, coarsely chopped
small batch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime (depends on how juicy)
small fresh red chile, finely chopped or hot pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, plus extra to serve
Roast peanuts on a baking sheet in the oven at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool, then lightly bash the nuts to break them up a bit, or leave whole if preferred.
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add to the dressing and toss until well coated. Leave to cool completely in the dressing.
Cook the beans and/or snow peas in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until just tender and still a bit crunchy, about 3 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water, then drain well.
Halve the cucumber lengthwise and slice thinly. Finely slice the green onions on the diagonal.
Toss the cooled noodles with the peanuts, cucumber, green onions, beans and/or snow peas and herbs. Serve with soy sauce on the side, for everyone to help themselves.
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