An oldie but a goodie --- from Gourmet, May 1984.
I had forgotten about this recipe until I was looking for something that I could make ahead and serve cold with grilled flank steak.
It makes a big batch so you have to be willing to eat it for several days, or have a big crowd coming over.
Good combination of Asian flavors with lots of vegetables.
Peanut Pasta Salad
(Penne & Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce)
(adapted from Gourmet, 1984)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup water
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. ground turmeric
1 lb. penne pasta
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, halved lengthwise, and sliced diagonally
1 large seedless cucumber, quartered, cored, sliced on the diagonal
8 scallions, sliced and quartered into small pieces
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
Prepare all of your veggies first, and have them ready to go.
To make the sauce: In a blender or using a whisk in a small bowl, blend the peanut butter, 1 cup water, soy sauce, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, cumin, and turmeric until smooth.
In a large pot, add water and a generous amount of salt, bring to a rolling boil. Add the green beans and blanch them until partially cooked about 2 minutes. Then fish them out with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain, or place in a water bath with ice to stop them from cooking more, and drain in a colander. (You want them to be well drained before you add them to the salad.) In the same boiling salted water, add the pasta and cook per the package directions until al dente about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta well. And rinse it with cold water to remove the starch and cool it off.
In a large serving bowl, add the drained pasta, the drained green beans, the veggies and toss it all well with the sauce, until every bit is coated with the peanut sauce. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts on top and serve.
To make the salad ahead of time, reserve 1/3 of the sauce and the roasted peanuts, and refrigerate the salad, then just before serving, loosen the remaining sauce with a little more water or lemon juice, add to the salad and toss again. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.