Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Vegetables and Tahini
Author Notes:A versatile cold noodle salad with heaps of vegetables and a wonderfully sweet and sour tahini-lime dressing.
Serves 2 to 4
For the dressing:
3tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2cloves finely minced garlic (about 2 teaspoons)
2teaspoons finely minced chile (I used a serrano here)
3tablespoons fish sauce (use a good one—I like Red Boat)
For the salad:
8ounces rice noodles
1tablespoon olive oil
6ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean, and chopped
4cups chopped spinach
4medium carrots, julienned
1/2cup chopped mint leaves
1/4cup chopped cilantro
3tablespoons minced green onion (from 2 to 3 stalks)
To make the dressing, combine lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chile in a small bowl. Whisk in the fish sauce, tahini, and water. Taste and add more lime, sugar, or chile as needed. Sauce will keep well covered in the fridge for several days.
Cook the rice noodles according to instructions. Drain, rinse well with cold water, and drain again.
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and then the mushrooms and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the prepared dressing. Cook for 5 minutes, or just until the mushrooms are soft.
To serve, toss cooked noodles with several tablespoons dressing. Toss the spinach with a tablespoon of dressing, and set atop the noodles. Add carrots, mint, cilantro, and green onion to taste. Top with warm mushrooms, another drizzle of dressing, and a squeeze of lime.