Posts Tagged 'salad'

Crunchy Noodle Salad

This is a bit of a misnomer…the noodles in this recipe are not crunchy, rather the other veggie-related ingredients are the crunchy part!

Start by boiling half a pound of thin spaghetti in salted water. Try using a bigger pot and more water than I did! hehe

In a large bowl, layer the ingredients. I had dry parsley on hand, so I put that at the bottom…so it could recontitute with the moisture from the other ingredients. If you’re using fresh, put it at the top!

Next, the al dente thin spaghetti and the blanched sugar snap peas. If you’ve snapped off the ends and removed any strings, there will be water trapped inside the sugar snap peas, so be sure to drain them well!

While the spaghetti was cooking, I chopped the veggies: orange, red, and yellow bell peppers and scallions on the diagonal.

Throw those in too.

Grate the ginger on a small grater or microplane. You can just get the thin skin off with a spoon or the back of a knife (even a butter knife!)…no need to cut it away and waste the ginger.

I usually like to shake dressing and marinades in a jar or plastic container. It combines it much easier and faster than whisking…and washing whisks are a pain anyway…

Just before serving, toss the dressing with the noodle salad. Toss in the remaining sesame seeds and fresh parsley if you’re using it. I wouldn’t dump ALL the dressing in. Two-thirds was enough for me.

See? Just saucy enough!

Notes:

I followed Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) menu and served this with Eli’s Asian Salmon (next blog). BIG mistake because there was wyyy too much flavor going on. This noodle salad is best served with a simple grilled meat (maybe chicken, flank steak, or shrimp).

You can make the dressing and arrange the salad ahead of time, but don’t mix them together until you’re ready to eat! The dressing would surely make the noodles mushy!

Feel free to add any veggies you like or have on hand that you think would be tasty…green bell peppers, blanched snow peas, red onion, bean sprouts, blanched green beans (cut into 1-inch pieces), julienned carrots, etc.

Crunchy Noodle Salad
Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
Episode IG0803H

Kosher salt
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds, divided
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
4 scallions (with and green parts), sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and peanut butter in a medium bowl.

Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas, peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and the parsley and toss together.

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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

I was excitedly flipping through my new July issue of Martha Stewart Living when I came across a section for bean salads.

(I would have just linked to it, but they still have the June issue online!)

I’ve been trying to eat healthy these days and I know that I don’t get enough protein or fiber…and I had an abundance of veggies in the fridge that I needed to use.

This salad was really easy to throw together! It was also a great way to work on my knife skills because there was a LOT of chopping involved!

Note: chickpeas = garbanzo beans

I used canned chickpeas instead of boiling my own…so drain 2 cans of garbanzo beans and leave them in the sieve/colander to drain.

While those are draining, make the dressing.

Place the garlic (I used the pre-minced, jarred stuff) and salt on the cutting board and flatten the mixture with a knife. (Don’t mind the green flecks. That’s some parsley that I chopped on the same board)

Run it back and forth like you are smearing it on your cutting board. It will make a paste like this.

Place this in a plastic storage container (big enough for dressing + chickpeas) with the vinegar (I used white wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar), olive oil, oregano, & pepper (I used freshly ground pepper instead of crushed peppercorns. I don’t enjoy crunching into a spicy little peppercorn!). Shake vigorously until well-combined.

Throw the chickpeas into the plastic food storage container with the dressing and let them marinate while you are chopping all the other veggies. Give it a shake every few minutes to make sure everything is coated.

Chop the cucumber. Even though it was an English cucumber, which has thinner skin and less watery seed pulp, I scooped out the center so that my salad wouldn’t get watery later.

I chopped 1 whole bell pepper because I like it, but the recipe calls for half.

Carrots roughly the same size.

I also added a bit of red onion because I like it.

The whole pint of tomatoes (I used grape, but the recipe calls for cherry). I only cut about half of the tomatoes in half and left the rest whole…which would also help to keep the salad from getting watery.

Roughly chop the parsley.

Slice the green onions on a diagonal.

Chiffenade the basil…doesn’t have to be too thin.

Throw it all in a big bowl, add the chickpeas & dressing. Toss until well-combined.

It makes a lot, so it would be great for a get-together.

Isn’t this a gorgeous salad?! Super fresh, healthy, crunchy and delicious! Enjoy!