This is a light and refreshing salad that is a tasty and eye-catching side dish for almost any meal, and a perfect potluck dish. This salad combines rice noodles, sweet peppers, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and feta cheese in a lime dressing, giving this dish Asian, Mediterranean, and Mexican influences . . . sounds odd, but the flavours blend together beautifully!
Don’t be dissuaded if you are, like me, not typically a fan of cold pasta-salad style noodles. Rice noodles make an entirely different type of salad; they are lighter than pasta or wheat-based noodles, and are better at absorbing flavourful and zesty dressings like this one.
- Juice and zest of 2 limes (should yield about ¼ cup lime juice)
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Some heat: ¼ – ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, or hot sauce, or ½-1 tsp. chopped hot green chili like jalapeno (optional, to taste)
- 1 small package (225 g) rice stick (flat) noodles; this should yield about 4 cups of cooked noodles
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2½ cups of chopped sweet peppers (green, yellow, or orange are good colours to complement the tomatoes)
- 2½ cups grape of halved cherry tomatoes (about 50 whole grape tomatoes)
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- Fresh basil – about 20 leaves, torn
- ½ cup parsley, stems removed
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, or more to taste
- Whisk together dressing ingredients in small jar or cup. Set aside.
- Prepare vegetables and herbs.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Strain noodles in a colander, and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain them well to remove as much excess water as possible. Put the drained noodles in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil.
- Toss the lime dressing onto the noodles and stir to combine. Add vegetables, fresh herbs, and feta cheese to the noodles (if noodles are clumping and you’re having a hard time distributing the vegetables, take some scissors or a knife and cut some of the noodles). Adjust the seasonings to taste, and serve.
Advance Prep: You can prepare the noodles, vegetables, and dressing in advance. Toss these together before serving.
YIELD: Makes about TWELVE CUPS of salad
Beyond great taste, this salad contains many nutritious ingredients, including . . .
- Garlic contains many protective compounds that are being studied for their disease-fighting effects.
- Fresh parsley is a good source of vitamin C, and also provides beta-carotene and lutein (another carotenoid) and natural plant compounds (flavonoids and limonene) that may have disease-fighting properties.
- Sweet peppers not only add colour, but plenty of nutrition. They are excellent sources of Vitamin C and carotenoids.
- Onions contain sulfur compounds that are thought to help cells detoxify potential carcinogens, and are a good source of the dietary flavenoid quercetin, which is associated with reduced chronic inflammation.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, compounds with potential disease-fighting properties.
Nutrition Per Cup of Salad
- 135 calories
- 2.3 g protein
- 5 g fat (1.4 g sat)
- 5.5 mg cholesterol
- 21 g carbohydrate
- 2 g fiber
- 230 mg sodium
- 200 mg potassium
- Iron: 3 % Daily Value
- Calcium: 4.2 % Daily Value
More Salad Recipes . . .
- Apple Arugula Salad with Carrots & Cabbage
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Roasted Potato Salad with Vegetables
- Sesame Noodles with Seasonal Vegetables
- Simple Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad