Well, yesterday got away from me. I didn't quite manage to get to posting that promised recipe, because, you see, important things needed attending to. Important things including such responsibilities as: a sunny day, an afternoon swim with the gals and our kiddos, and yoga, also with the gals. But I'm here now, although the sun is no longer, with a summery recipe to refresh and revive.
Perhaps it'll encourage that sunshine to come back, and stay awhile...
This is one of those last minute, "hmmm...what have I got around here to throw together, quickly?" sort of dish. I made some veggie sushi last night, to celebrate the somewhat reluctant appearance of the sun, and needed a little something fresh and easy to go with it. The veggies were all those left over from sushi prep (I really prepped far too many veggies, but who's complaining?), the rice noodles have been lurking in the back of my pantry for eons, and the fresh herbs came from our CSA box. Add a squirt of this, a squeeze of that...and away we go. Dinner in five.
Summery Rice Noodle Salad with Lime and Sesame Oil Vinaigrette
-serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
Approximately 200-250 gram package thin rice noodles
1 1/2 to 2 cups julienned or finely sliced vegetables: carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, spring onions, cucumber, green peppers
1/2 to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, stems included
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
6 Tbs soy sauce
juice of 1 1/2 limes
2 to 3 Tbs sesame oil
4 to 6 Tbs mirin (if you don't have mirin, substitute 1 to 2 Tbs of honey)
*Note* The ingredient amounts are approximate. This is one of those recipes you make to suit your tastes. If you prefer a sweeter vinaigrette, use more mirin. If you like it saltier, up the soy sauce. Use more or less sesame oil, depending on how aggressive you want the dressing. Taste as you go, substitute another ingredient if you feel like it, and be creative!
In a large bowl whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Set aside.
Cook your rice noodles according to package directions. If you picked up your package at an international market, like I did, and it has no discernible directions, other than such ever-so-helpful gems as: "Cook a little while, then it completes." Or: "After stirring, put it in a dish, then you can have it"...If these are the extent of your directions, then just boil the noodles, and check every minute or two (mine took about 3 1/2 minutes), then drain, and run under cold water. Allow to drain for a few minutes in a colander, gently squeezing the excess water out of the noodles. (If you leave them too wet, your dressing will be diluted. Thin rice noodles are pretty springy once cooked, and can handle a bit of a squeeze.)
Toss the noodles with the dressing, then throw in the veggies and herbs, and top with peanuts. Serve with some thinly sliced green chili, or a few dashes of Sambal.
There you have it. Couldn't be simpler, or more refreshing. A wonder of a salad for a hot day, when you cannot be asked spending much time inside, away from that precious sunshine.
Here's hoping it returns soon!