It might not feel like it yet, but spring is here and the sunny, warmer days it brings always have me craving lighter foods. Bring on the salads! Fruit! Vegetables! All the carbs and casseroles that keep us warm and cozy during winter suddenly start feeling heavy and unappetizing. If you’re looking for a light dinner to welcome the warmer weather and sunny days, this is it.
Ribbons of daikon and carrot are tossed with rice vermicelli, sliced mango, microgreens and fresh herbs in a sweet-and-tangy Asian-inspired dressing. It’s simple to make and leftovers are perfect for tucking into your lunch bag for work the next day. You can even add baked tofu or tempeh cubes for a more filling meal if you like.
This recipe comes from The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking by Jeanine Donofrio, who you might know from her food blog, Love & Lemons. There are cookbooks I like and cookbooks I love and this one definitely falls into the love category. The book is substantive, with nearly 300 pages of recipes, organized by main ingredient—I cook seasonally, so I love cookbooks that are organized this way because it lets me easily find recipes based on what’s available at my local farmers market.
Since receiving a copy of this cookbook to review, I’ve made the Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice Penne and Roasted Cauliflower & Pear Pizza, in addition to this salad. Because obviously if I’m reviewing a cookbook, I need to test some of the recipes—and I may have been a wee bit excited about this particular cookbook. Each recipe has been a hit and each has been doable as a weeknight dinner, either because it’s quick or because it has components that can be made in advance, which is essential for me.
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- 1 tablespoon 15 mL tamari
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon 15 mL fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon 15 mL rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons 10 mL cane sugar
- 1 unripe mango peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 daikon peeled into ribbons
- 1 carrot peeled into ribbons
- 4 ounces 115 g rice vermicelli noodles
- 1/4 cup 60 mL chopped mint
- 1/4 cup 60 mL chopped basil
- 1/2 cup 125 mL chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup 60 mL microgreens, for garnish
- 1/4 cup 60 mL crushed peanuts, toasted (page 285)
- 1/2 teaspoon 2 mL sriracha, or to taste
- Lime wedges for serving
- Sea salt
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, garlic, lime juice, rice vinegar, and sugar.
- In a large bowl, toss together the mango, daikon, and carrot. Drizzle in half of the dressing and toss. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add the noodles to the salad bowl along with the remaining dressing, mint, basil, and cilantro and toss with a few pinches of salt to taste. Top with the microgreens, toasted peanuts, and sriracha to taste.
- Serve with lime wedges.