After all of our friends left the beach on Friday, Mark and I stayed and my parents came out to spend the weekend with us and for the big Greek Family reunion on Saturday. Though my Papou (My Grandfather) passed away 7 years ago and my Yia Yia (My Grandmother) 5 years ago, Papou’s remaining siblings, all the children, the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren all get together every summer at the beach. It is so amazing that we all still get together and are so close. We get tons of lamb, it marinates for days and then my Dad and his cousin Paul grill it up. Everyone brings a dish or a snack to share and everyone eats their faces off. So much delicious, authentic Greek food and other goodies.
I had all the ingredients on hand last week to make this salad for everyone at the beach house but never got around to it and although this dish has nothing to do with Greek food in the least, since I had everything with me and it was both vegan and gluten-free, I knew it was a good dish to share. If I had shredded carrots I would have added those, but it certainly didn’t need it. Additionally, I left out the fish sauce in the dressing, since I didn’t know if anyone was vegan, but normally I would have included it. Since there was so many people, I actually doubled this recipe and made huge serving of the salad, which was nice since I had leftovers.
*Also, I’ll be honest, the photo above makes this salad seem boring and blah, but it is anything but, the dressing has so much flavor and it’s damn delicious. I need to get better with the camera.
Paul and my Dad grilling the lamb
Cold Asian Rice Noodle Salad
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce (leave this out to keep it vegan)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon organic raw sugar (or honey)
juice from 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Whisk it all together. Set aside.
8 ounces thin rice noodles or rice stick noodles (the kind you just have to soak)
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/2-inch thick (I used a beautiful organic heirloom satsuki madori from my garden)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 cup of Thai basil, roughly torn or chopped up
1/2 cup of fresh mint, roughly torn or chopped up
*(you can also use fresh cilantro and/or regular basil)
3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
Prepare the noodles according to package’s directions.
Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and pat dry. Add noodles, cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeno, basil, mint, scallions, peanuts and whatever else, to a large bowl. Pour on the dressing, toss to combine. Squeeze the juice from the other half of a lime over the top. Garnish with a small handful more each of chopped peanuts and sliced scallions. Taste, add salt, pepper or more lime to taste. Serve room temperature or put in the refrigerator for an hour or two and serve cold.