Your New Summer Potluck BFF: Asian Noodle Salad

Or maybe this is your new summer entertaining BFF? Look at all the luscious, colorful and crispy veggies that go into this - this salad is so beautiful and so giant and so easy to make, you'll be looking for excuses to throw it together. It's also forgiving - don't like one ingredient? Sub another! LOVE another? Add more! Want to add a protein? Go crazy - baked seasoned tofu cut into cubes would be spectacular, as would shredded poached chicken breast or rotisserie chicken meat. Invite a gaggle of friends over and enjoy the crispy, chewy, sweet & tangy goodness al fresco. You can thank me later.

Asian Noodle Salad (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

For the salad:

1 lb. linguine noodles (feel free to amp up the nutrition and use whole wheat), cooked, rinsed and cooled
1/2 large head napa cabbage, sliced thinly
1/2 large head purple cabbage, sliced thinly
1 (5 oz.) bag of baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 bag of bean sprouts
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 European cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
12 oz. unsalted cashews, dry-toasted in a skillet
 

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lime
8 T. extra-virgin olive oil
8 T. low-sodium soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
1/3 c. brown sugar, unpacked
3 T. fresh ginger, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced

 

Combine the salad ingredients in a very large bowl (I used my giant All-Clad roasting pan). Wisk the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the salad. Toss (hands are best here - ask L. what I always say? "A good cook always uses her hands!"). Adjust seasonings and serve.

Serves 12.