There is absolutely nothing better on a hot summer’s day than a chilled noodle or pasta salad. I’m talking about this refreshing, delicious departure from your typical store-bought pasta salads laden with fat and calories from mayonnaise, but a Thai-inspired Soba noodle salad strewn with vibrant carrots, cool cucumbers and a luscious homemade peanut butter-ginger dressing.
The addition of slippery sweet sesame noodles also adds special appeal for folks who would like salads if it weren’t for all the greens! You know who you are.
- 8 ounces soba noodles or whole wheat linguine or spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup Peanut-Ginger Dressing (recipe follows)
- 2 tablespoons basil chiffonade*
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- 4 scallions, trimmed and julienned
- 5 oz. bag organic mixed baby greens
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature Sesame Noodle Salad2
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup canola or safflower oil
- First, use a microplane (a must-have kitchen tool) for the orange and lime zest. (I had those cute always-sweet mandarin oranges called "Cuties" in the fridge so used four of those in place of one orange.) Then, cut the fruit in half and squeeze the juices out.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together everything but the oil. Slowly add the oil, and whisk until all the oil is incorporated. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 days. Makes approx. 1-3/4 cups.
- Prepare the soba noodles or whole wheat pasta as directed on the package. Drain, rinse with cold water, toss with sesame oil in colander, and set aside or refrigerate to chill.
- In a large bowl, toss the noodles, dressing, basil, orange zest and lime zest.
- Add the cucumbers, scallions, and greens, and toss gently. Garnish.
- Toss with the dressing just before serving.
- Variations: Feel free to add snow peas, sugar snap peas, julienned yellow bell pepper, sprouts, julienned carrots, toasted sesame seeds, or chopped peanuts.
Adapted from Ezra Poundcake.
* Not sure how to julienne carrots or chiffonade basil? What’s the difference between chopped, minced, diced? Here’s a very helpful video on knife skills by Food and Style. Viviane Bauquet Farre’s mesmerizes you with her charming accent and soothing voice, and she makes slicing and dicing seem so pleasant and effortless 🙂