As the days get sunnier I get excited about salads. Yes, excited. I'm not talking the basic salade verte here either, although I do love those too. What I love is being able to chop up some vegetables, mix them in a tangy, sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, mayonaisse based or vinegar and oil dressing. The choices are endless if you let your creativity and tastebuds lead you.
Today's salad is one of the kids' favorites and it's a great way to get them to eat their vegetables. My kids don't like cooked veg as much as when they're raw and crunchy and that's lucky because the uncooked versions pack more of a vitamin punch. The yellow pepper are sauteed a bit but not so much that they lose their appealing crunch.
Another great thing about this, our favorite salad is that you can add chicken (mon Mari has to have meat) or smoked salmon, toasted sesame seeds, chopped roasted and salted peanuts or any other old thing you like. The main thing is to go with it, do what you like. This is a base to make your own favorite noodle salad. Your favorites may be different than ours.
So, here goes as promised...
angel hair or spaghetti pasta
1 yellow pepper
splash sesame oil
1 tsp chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 can artichoke hearts, not in oil
1 organic English cucumber
1 can bean sprouts or a handful fresh sprouts if you're lucky enough to have them at your grocery store
squeeze of lime
1 good handful chopped cilantro/coriander
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Cook the noodles. Make 3 servings of pasta for this amount of vegetables or more if you like more noodles. Drain and set aside to cool.
Slice pepper into thin slices. Heat a splash of sesame oil in a small skillet and sautee sliced peppers with 1 tsp ginger. Set aside to cool.
Drain artichoke hearts and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Hollow out cucumber seeds and then slice unpeeled cucumber into half moons.
Chop avocado and squeeze with lime.
Mix above with bean sprouts and cilantro.
Add cooled noodles and peppers to the other veg and mix well.
In a separate bowl make the dressing with the rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Pour over all and stir.
Et voila! C'est fini!
If you want to you can cook chicken breasts in a bit of sesame oil, leave it to cool and then slice and serve on top.
Or toast some sesame seeds and sprinkle over.
Once you start with this you won't be able to stop...wasabi, shredded carrots, spring onions.