Herby Peanutty Noodle Salad

“It takes four men to dress a salad: a wise man for the salt, a madman for the pepper, a miser for the vinegar, and a spendthrift for the oil.”

This month I hope to make several “new to me” salads so I started with a Piña Colada Coleslaw that seems to be everywhere on the internet it is a very light and gently flavored with tropical flavor ingredients including pineapple and coconut milk. Sorry no pictures, but I do have a picture of the Sunday herby peanut noodle salad from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstill’s cook book River Cottage Veg and I had enough leftover for lunch.

I think that a darker regular soy certainly is more flavorful or should I say heavier than the thin soy that I buy from the Asian store, but I prefer the thin soy that does not over power the delicate noodles and tender vegetables in the salad.

With plenty of fresh herbs, fresh lime juice and zest this is a very refreshing salad and would make a nice side dish for a spring/summer cookout or picnic…try individual food safe carry out containers, packed into a cooler with forks or chopsticks.  Herby Peanutty Noodle Salad slightly adapted and serves four…

½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, rough chopped

7 ounces fine egg noodles or rice vermicelli (I used Somen noodles)
2+1/2 ounces thin whole haricot verts
2+1/2 ounces snow peas
½ English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
6 green onions, trimmed
About 12 basil leaves (ideally Thai basil), coarsely torn
A small bunch of mint, coarsely chopped
A small bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)

FOR THE DRESSING – I made extra dressing because the noodles sucked it up pretty quickly
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
½ to 1 small fresh red chile, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon soy sauce, plus extra to serve

*Optional Japanese pepper – Togarashi

For the dressing, whisk together all the 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 snow peas in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until just tender and still a bit crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes for beans, 2 to 3 minutes for snow peas.
Drain, plunge into cold water, and 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.

Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh (2013-05-14). River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes (Kindle Locations 968-979). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.