A flavor packed dressing with crunchy veggies, Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Cashews comes together with ease. Make once, eat all week! Vegan + Vegetarian + Optionally Gluten Free
Easy summer dinners, early morning baking, picnic food, grab n go snacks and salads that can hang out in the fridge for days is my idea of spending less time in the kitchen during summer. Long, warmish days yield opportunities for outdoor fun and lingering a little longer at the beach, on walks or at Home Depot (sheesh).
You know how it is. One project after another whether it be home maintenance, weeds to pull, or on a Craig’s List mission to find that perfect thing.
I’ve been on the hunt for snowshoes.
It’s nice to be back in the Pacific Northwest after my visit to Texas. The summers here are absolutely gorgeous, although we could use some rain… no, really. We’re pretty much in a drought situation since Whidbey is located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains.
Our grass is crunchy. I’m already looking forward to the cozy rainy days of fall.
I planted the herbs in the wrong spot this spring. The only thing that’s happy, and they are the easiest to grow, is the curly parsley and chives. After last year’s bumper crop of Thai and sweet basil, I just decided I would grow them in a new tucked away area of the yard given my success last year.
And the deer have trampled them. I’m not mad at them, after-all, they were here long before I arrived. And I adore their company, especially when mamma brings her babies.
But still, epic fail.
So, upon my return home from Texas, and although it was watered regularly, I was met with a struggling herb garden. You can imagine my excitement upon a visit to the farmers market when I spied Thai and sweet basil and cilantro! What a relief!
There’s nothing like fresh herbs to make flavors pop in a recipe. Although Rob would argue otherwise. I always leave them off his food.
More for me!
Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Cashews can hang out in the fridge for days and is ready when you are.
It comes together fast too!
While the noodles are cooking, toast the cashews and whip up the dressing. When the noodles are done, drain thoroughly and toss with the dressing. The noodles and dressing will hang out in the refrigerator to cool while the veggies are chopped. Finish the salad by tossing all the ingredients together and adjust seasoning to taste.
I typically give it a hearty douse of Sriracha! I do love spicy things.
This recipe makes a big salad, seven to eight servings, so it’s a good one to take to the office, potluck, picnic or toss in your loves lunch box.
It’s versatile too. Use whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. Sometimes I toss in julienned carrots or seeded, thinly sliced and quartered cucumbers. But one ingredient, especially during summer, that takes this salad over the top is sugar snap peas. I absolutely adore them. They have a crunch factor that is satisfying and they make this salad extra special.
If snap peas aren’t available, give snow peas a go. They make an excellent sub.
If you love crunchy, fresh salads and noodles, you’re going to love how easy Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Cashews comes together. Versatile enough for lunch, dinner, an impromptu picnic or a lazy leftover dinner.
It’ll be waiting after the too long trip to Home Depot too (rolls eyes).
Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Cashews
A flavor packed dressing with crunchy veggies, Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Cashews comes together with ease. Make once, eat all week! Use your favorite noodle. Soba, whole wheat angel hair, spaghetti or gluten free varieties work beautifully! Picnics, potlucks, weekday lunch or summertime dinner... versatile and delicious! Vegetarian + Vegan + Optionally Gluten Free
For the Salad:
- 3/4 C (100g) Raw Cashews whole
- 1/2 lb (230g) Angel Hair Whole Wheat Pasta (or soba noodles)
- 1 1/2 C (170g) Red Bell Pepper* (see note) sliced thin and into bite size pieces (about 1 large pepper)
- 1 1/2 C (150g) Sugar Snap or Snow Peas sliced long and thin
- 2 C (100g) Savoy or Green Cabbage or a mix of green and purple
- 2 Scallions green and white parts sliced thin
- 3 Tbs Sesame Seeds
- 3-4 Stems Fresh Cilantro and/or Thai Basil chopped for garnish
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 C (76g) Tamari
- 1/4 C (50g) Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 Tbs Honey or Maple Syrup (use maple for vegan option)
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper ground (or use 1-2 tsp Sriracha - adjust to taste)
- 2 tsp Fresh Ginger microplaned or finely grated
- 2 Limes one juiced, one sliced for serving
For the Salad:
Preheat oven to 350 and toast cashews for about 13-15 minutes. Alternatively, dry-toast the cashews on medium-low in a skillet tossing and flipping the cashews occassionally for about 5-6 minutes - watch these carefully as they burn quickly. They should be golden and fragrant when ready. Once cool, rough chop and set aside. (I like the oven method better with cashews as the pan method produces uneven toasting - but for the sake of leaving the oven off.. there's an option!)
Cook the noodles according to package directions. The noodles should be cooked al dente (to the tooth - not soggy). Meanwhile, make the dressing (see below). Set aside. Drain and rinse the noodles. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing on and toss to coat. Rest the noodles in the refrigerator while you finish chopping/assembling all the veggies.
To the noodles in the large mixing bowl, add the bell peppers (and/or carrots), peas, cabbage, scallions, sesame seeds, herbs and chopped cashews. Toss well so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Chill at least 30 minutes prior to serving so the flavors have time to marry. Serve with extra lime wedges and Sriracha (if desired). Store in a covered container for up to four days.
For the Dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together the Tamari, sesame oil, honey or maple syrup, cayenne (or Sriracha), lime juice and ginger. Set aside.
*I like to use carrots as a sub for red bell pepper, or sometimes I throw both in.