This is the perfect summer meal -- fresh, light, and packed with different textures. I used carrots, cucumber, and avocado in my salad, but you can really use any vegetable that's good raw -- snow peas or thinly sliced cabbage or kale would be great too. What brings this salad from good to great is a healthy handful of fresh herbs -- again, a mix is ideal, but you can choose your favorites or select what looks freshest at the store. Don't skip peanuts on top -- they add great crunch. If you'd like more protein, some shredded rotisserie chicken on top is a great addition.
For the dressing:
3 T olive oil
2 T soy sauce
2 T lime juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp sambal oelek or Asian chile-garlic paste
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
For the salad:
4 ounces rice noodles, prepared according to package instructions and rinsed under cold water
1 large carrot, peeled
1 medium cucumber, peeled
A handful of mixed fresh herbs, roughly chopped (I used Thai basil, mint, and a scallion)
1/2 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Make the vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined.
Make the salad: Cook or soak the noodles according to package instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water until fully chilled. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Create long ribbons of carrot using a vegetable peeler, or grate. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and thinly slice. Cube the avocado. Add the vegetables to the noodles, along with all the fresh herbs, and toss to combine.
Add about half the dressing and toss to combine. Taste, and add more dressing as desired. Serve topped with chopped peanuts and more dressing.