Layered spinach noodle salad with lime-ginger dressing

Published On: Apr 26 2012 10:29:20 AM PDT   Updated On: Jul 29 2015 03:43:22 AM PDT

Makes 4 servings

If time permits, top the layers of crunchy vegetables with grilled fresh tuna rather than using canned tuna. Or if you prefer, transform this into a colorful vegetarian salad -- just omit the tuna entirely.

8 ounces spinach egg noodles

For the dressing

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil 
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced 
½ teaspoon sugar 
Dash of ground white pepper, or to taste

To complete the recipe

2 cups fresh bean sprouts 
½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped 
½ yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped 
2 scallions, coarsely chopped 
6 cups coarsely shredded salad spinach leaves (about 6 ounces); remove and discard stems, then shred leaves 
One 6-ounce can water-packed solid white albacore tuna, drained and flaked 
Toasted pine nuts for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add the noodles. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the noodles. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package instructions.

While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss together the sprouts, bell peppers and scallions in a small bowl.

When the noodles are done, drain and rinse well in cold water, then drain again.

Transfer the noodles to a medium bowl. Add ¼ cup of the dressing and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To assemble, layer the ingredients on individual salad plates as follows: shredded spinach, noodles, bell pepper mixture, and tuna. Drizzle each salad with about 2 tablespoons of the remaining dressing.

Advance preparation

Covered and refrigerated, the dressing will keep for up to 2 days. The noodles can be tossed with dressing, and the bell pepper mixture can be prepared early the day the salad is to be served; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and assemble the salads just before serving.