I currently have a glut of cabbage in my fridge, thanks to our CSA this year with Whisper Hill Farm. In looking about for different ways to serve it, I remembered a recipe I hadn’t made in a while that I swore I had posted here once upon a time. Having recently sat down and organized my recipes page, I was shocked it didn’t appear when I pulled it up on my phone – isn’t that what you do? Keep your blog recipe link page bookmarked on your phone for easy reference at all times? Well, you should if you don’t. Because when you can’t remember which one of your kitchen binders or notebooks a recipe is scribbled in, it’s helpful. Wait, you probably don’t have three of those either, do you? Oh.
So this recipe, which I call Thai Peanut Noodle Salad, although it’s not at all authentic, is similar to my dad’s old Ten Treasure Salad, in that it combines raw and cooked veggies with protein and pasta in a dressing with some Asian-inspired flavors. It easily makes a large amount, can be served hot or cold, keeps well in the fridge for days, making it perfect for a pot luck or if you just want to have something on hand for lunches, quick dinners of leftovers. I make this recipe in my kids cooking class, because aside from a lot of chopping (which I find is key to a good kids cooking class recipe), it’s easy to make. Although frankly, I don’t mind the busy work of chopping these days. You’ll want something like a blender, food processor or even stick blender in a bowl or large measuring cup to make the dressing. My most recent experiment with this dish included roasting some of the vegetables and the tofu, which gave a nice contrast to the crunchy, raw ones. You can sub out vegetables and protein with what you have on hand – this is a really easy recipe to riff on, if, like me, you are slightly allergic to cooking a recipe directly as written or just need to use up a bunch of stuff in the fridge. The amounts listed in the salad ingredients are just suggestions – you can easily cut the pasta amount in half and STILL end up with salad for days. I find it’s easier to toss pasta salads like this with my hands to make sure everything gets incorporated, but tongs can do the trick as well.
“Thai Peanut Noodle Salad”
Thai Peanut Dressing:
1/2 C peanut butter
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 1/2 t sesame oil
1 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
3 T honey*
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 T minced ginger
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro, stems and all (Parsley works in a pinch)
1/2 C vegetable oil (I like peanut, but any will work)
1/4 t kosher salt*
2-3 t sriracha chili sauce depending on how much heat you’d like
Water* – anywhere from a few tablespoons to a 1/4 cup (or more) for consistency.
Place everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.
*The need for salt, sweetner and water may differ depending on the brand of PB you use. Taste first and then add.
8 oz Linguine or other long pasta, cooked
4 C shredded cabbage
Sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, julienned
Other Vegetables to be considered:
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced, seeds removed
Peas – English peas, snow peas, snap peas
Green beans (so good roasted)
Scallions or roasted onions
Mushrooms – sliced raw or slightly cooked
Proteins: (mix and match or combine a few!)
Nuts like peanuts or cashews
To roast veggies (and tofu): Toss vegetables cut into chunks with vegetable oil, soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic. Roast on cookie sheet at 425 for 15 minutes. Stir and roast another 5-15 minutes or until everything is browned.
Vegetables can also be lightly stir fried in a skillet before combining. Leave some raw or cook them all, but having a few raw vegetables adds a nice crunch to the dish.
Combine all the vegetables with the cooked noodles, toss with dressing. Serve.