The Rut, Redux

Sunday, May 19, 2013
It happens to all of us.  We find a recipe that we love so much we don't want to eat anything else. It's happened to me with this recipe, and I've written about it here.  I occasionally decide I only want to eat one thing for lunch - every day - even if it means I make the same dish back to back (and sometimes to back again).

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

To serve:
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.


Paula Montenegro said...

Of course now I just have to make it Beth! I´ve been intrigued with adding peanut butter to noodles, and this much praised recipe is a perfect way to try it. I too go through the same food for days.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love tossing noodles with peanut sauce! The rice noodles looks homey and very delicious!

Natalie Aguirre said...

This sounds like something my family would like. I printed it to try soon. Thanks so much.

Jemi Fraser said...

What an interesting combination of flavours! Thanks :)

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Ooh, this looks wonderful! And I love that it's easy customizable depending on the ingredients you love the most. YUM!

Barbara said...

Too funny, Beth. Rut indeed. We all have the same experience. I get on lunch kicks more than dinner kicks, but I can certainly see why you're stuck on this. Very tempting recipe! All flavors I love.

Valerie Gamine said...

Oh, love that you decided to use peanuts! This looks sensational! So, when may I come over? :D

Beth said...

Visit me in Toronto, Valerie, and I'll serve this for lunch every day.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Wow, this looks good! Those are words of high praise - I gotta try this! Love the recipe. Really fun post - thanks you.

Claudia said...

I love peanut sauces and I am bookmarking and I am making it - this week!

Belinda said...

Wow - those noodles are fantastic! Loving the sauce.

Gloria Baker said...

sounds delicious Beth!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, what a delicious looking salad recipe - I love that you used rice noodles, this makes for a fabulous change to the ususal pasta salad recipes! And the dressing sounds wonderful, love the list of ingredients!

Anonymous said...

I could easily get in a rut with this recipe. Peanut sauce is one of my favorites!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I love a good peanut sauce but I have never made one. Perhaps this will get me over the hump!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

These noodles look ridiculously delicious my friend :D


Julie said...

Love peanut sauce! This would be perfect for my lunch box :)

Caroline Taylor said...

I love the sound of this, especially the peanut sauce!

nancy at good food matters said...

it looks like this dish comes together readily, which makes it all the more appealing for lunch.
it's got umami---and that will bring you back day after day for those satisfying savory taste.

grace said...

it took me awhile to accept that peanut butter could be used in savory dishes, but i'm all for it now. this sounds great, especially with the crunchy peanuts tossed in at the end!

Monet said...

I get in food ruts all the time. I know that Ryan would be THRILLED if this could be our next food obsession. He loves peanut based sauces! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!

Katerina said...

This is a perfectly made salad Beth and I would love to use peanut butter in a savory dish as i haven't done it before!

Unknown said...

I would stand at the counter and eat these noodle with their delicious peanut sauce any ruts just happen but there is always a new exciting recipe around the corner if we are just a little bit adventurous and give it a try ;-)

Cindy said...

Thank you for the lunch idea. I am hungry and I have everything in the house to make these yummy noodles. And I do love a sauce with peanut butter in it. For the first time in ages I am excited for lunch!

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