This wonderful Asian noodle salad is from "Perfect Party Food" by Diane Phillips, who is known as the Do-Ahead Diva. I've attended cooking classes taught by Ms. Phillips and she is an awesome cook and instructor. I love the way she provides Do-Ahead tips throughout the recipe instructions. I have all her cookbooks, but in my humble opinion, Perfect Party Food (a James Beard Award winner) is her best.
- 1 lb linguine, cooked until al dente and drained
- 1⁄4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup creamy peanut butter (don't use natural)
- 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 cup snow peas, strings removed
- 6 scallions, white parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 4 carrots, cut into matchsticks (2 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup peanuts, dry-roasted, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- Cook and drain pasta, toss with 1 T. of the sesame oil. **Do-Ahead Tip: cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- In a blender or food processor, process together the remaining 1 T. sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, and brown sugar until smooth. Taste for soy and sugar. **Do-Ahead Tip: refrigerate up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature and whisk before using.
- Microwave the snow peas on High or plunge into boiling water for 1 minute. Shock in ice water, pat dry, and cut in half on the diagonal. **Can omit this step if they are young and tender.
- Add the snow peas, scallions, carrots, 2 T. of the peanuts, and 1 T. of the sesame seeds to the linguine. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. **Do-Ahead Tip: cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
- One hour before serving, remove the salad from the refrigerator and toss with more dressing if needed. Garnish with the remaining 2 T. of peanuts and 1 T. of sesame seeds.
- Note from contributor - I omit the 2 T. vegetable oil and use water in it's place. The dressing is a bit thinner, but healthier. Additions I enjoy: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, several radishes - slivered, red pepper flakes for some "heat", and chopped red pepper for their vitamins and a splash of color.