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Green-Noodle Couscous Toss With Spicy Peanut Dressing

Published On: Apr 26 2012 11:31:24 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2010 06:14:44 AM EDT

This salad is a favorite in my noodle cooking classes. The salad's character can be mild or zesty; simply adjust the heat by using the amount of red pepper flakes that suit your taste.

4 ounces spinach ribbon noodles (about 3 cups)

¾ cup couscous

¾ cup hot water

Dressing

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

¼ cup white rice vinegar

¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark (Asian) sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste

Dash of salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon water, or as needed

To complete the recipe

½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Garnish (optional): mandarin orange segments or pineapple chunks, sprigs of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add salt, then the noodles. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the noodles. Reduce the heat to medium-high and and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or according to package instructions, until al dente.

While the noodles are cooking, combine the couscous and hot water in a small bowl. Cover and let stand until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients, except the water, in a small bowl. The dressing should have a cake batter consistency; add more water as needed. Set aside.

When the noodles are done, drain and rinse well in cold water, then drain again. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Combine the bell pepper, scallions, and parsley in a large bowl. Add the noodles and couscous; toss. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Advance preparation

This salad is ideal for advance preparation. Toss the salad ingredients and prepare the dressing up to 1 day in advance; cover and refrigerate separately. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.