It has happened again. I first saw this Rice Noodle Salad recipe on two of my favourite blogs over two years ago. I thought it looked amazing, and I bookmarked it, only to forget about it for a while. Every time I saw the bookmark I thought about trying it, but didn't think it could live up to the praise that Joanne and Tasha gave it.
I was thrilled to be proven wrong. This salad is stand-at-the-counter-and-eat-it good. I changed up their versions a little bit by substituting peanuts at the end instead of using shrimp or tofu. It's the kind of recipe that you can personalize by adding what you like and eliminating what you don't. I know I always make a big deal when I find a recipe that everyone in my house likes, but it happened with this recipe - and it is a big deal.
Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
(adapted from The Brick Kitchen and Eats Well With Others)
For the peanut sauce:
1/2" piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water
For the salad:
8 ounces (linguini style) rice noodles
2 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1 large red pepper, sliced into matchsticks
4 small-medium carrots, sliced thin
3 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion (white and light green parts only)
Combine the ginger, garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and brown sugar in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add warm water a tablespoon at a time, blending until desired consistency is reached.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Keep submerged in cold water until ready to use.
Mist a large nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini, red pepper and carrots and cook until just tender, about 3 - 4 minutes. (Carrots will still be fairly crisp.) Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Drain noodles and toss with dressing and vegetables in a large serving bowl. Serve room temperature or chilled. Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts to serve.