It’s official. I’ve come down with a case of spring fever.
We’ve had some warm temperatures here the past week or so with highs climbing into the mid-40’s. The warm weather has got me dreaming about gardening, spring fashions and—of course—food. As spring draws tantalizingly close, I can’t help but think of spring and summer foods these days. Grilled fish with avocado salsa, fresh peas tossed with goat cheese and arugula for a refreshing salad, berries…fistfuls and fistfuls of sweet, succulent berries.
In my quest to satisfy my spring-starved palette, I came up with this recipe last week for a simple salad of chilled brown rice noodles dressed in a creamy and luxurious peanut dressing. No sodium-laden soy or fish sauce here. Just a delicious blend of garlic, peanut butter and lime with a hint of honey for sweetness. This is not an overly rich or peanut-y recipe, which is why I classify it as lighter, springtime fare. All of the flavors are subtle but distinct at the same time. I like to serve the noodles with simple broiled fish seasoned with ginger and a nice big, green salad.
Chilled Peanut Noodles – serves 4 as a side
For the noodle salad:
8 ounces brown rice spaghetti (such as Tinkyada brand)
1 tbs. olive oil
1 large stalk celery, peeled and finely chopped
3 scallions (white and green parts), chopped on an angle
Handful or two of frozen peas
For the dressing:
1 tbs. olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 tbs. honey or agave nectar
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup water
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and add the noodles. Cook according to package directions, but drain 1-2 minutes shy of suggested cooking time to achieve “al dente” texture. Drain noodles well and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
While noodles cook, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a skillet over medium-low. Add celery and cook 2 minutes. Add scallions and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the peas and cooked noodles to the bowl with the vegetables.
Make the dressing: combine all dressing ingredients in a blender. Blend until creamy and very smooth. Pour dressing over noodles and vegetables. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt.
Chill salad in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Just before serving, toss the salad thoroughly and break apart any clumped noodles.
More tasty recipes to be savored at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday! Check it out.