This weekend is going to be another scorcher, with rain to boot, so grilling is out. Why not treat yourself to the perfect hot night salad. It serves 4 and takes almost no time if you use pre-cooked shrimp.
Frankly, the dressing and peanuts are the key. After that, add, delete, substitute at will: crab, chicken, cilantro, additional peppers (bird chile?) if you like it hot, radishes, leftover corn
Vietnamese Glass-Noodle & Shrimp Salad
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp minced Jalapeno chili, seeded
1 small garlic clove, grated
3-4 oz uncooked bean threads (cellophane noodles)
1 lb. cooked, peeled, shrimp, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb, fresh asparagus, boiled for 5 minutes, then shocked in ice water and drained. Chop into 1" lengths.
2 cups torn romaine lettuce or sliced Belgian endive
1 cup chopped tomato
4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cut thinly sliced celery
2 Tbs chopped, dry-roasted peanuts
Prepare the dressing first. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Cool; stir in the lime juice, chile, and garlic.
While the dressing sits and cools, prepare the salad, Cook noodles in unsalted boiling water 1 1/2 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop noodles or cut with scissors. Combine noodles, shrimp, and next 5 ingredients (shrimp through celery) in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.