Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Veggies and Soba Noodles

I heard a sad thing on the radio today.  A sad thing and a scary thing.  "It's warm out there folks, so enjoy it! Before you know it, it'll be November, December, January, February, and it's going to be a cold one this year!"

Please answer me this.  Who says that in the first week of August??  You don't spend your time thinking of the miserable, dreaded cold of a dark Midwest winter in the first week of August.  August should be a happy, snow-free time!

I'm sorry.  I talk about the weather a lot.  I try not to, but it's like the queen of small conversation.  But maybe you all should talk back to me.  Then I can stop this small convo stuff.  Ok, that was a plea for attention, I admit it.

Anyways, I'm stalling here.  That's the real reason.  Cause here I am loving summer and praising the sunshine and blue skies and I want to put off telling you that I didn't like this.  It could very well be my fault.  It started promising.  There are beautiful fresh veggies that are chopped and diced and coated in a tasty Asian vinaigrette.  That mysteriously get eaten by wandering fingers.  See, promising?

And well, then I think I screwed up the soba noodles.  And then I messed up more and tried to convince myself that if I just tossed them with the yummy veggie mixture, it'd be ok.  It wasn't.  I really wanted it to be, but it wasn't.  The sad thing is, I know I will never try it again.  It could totally work.  I see that.  If you are better than me and can cook noodles into something other than a gummy, gooey mess, go for this.  Enjoy it for me, please.  Cause unfortunately I've already filled it into that special, round filing cabinet.  But let me know.  Please?  And I swear the weather talk will stop...

Summer Veggies and Soba Noodles
Adapted from Bon Appetit's July 2012 issue

1 medium red bell pepper
4-5 large radishes
1-2 large carrots
1 large cucumber, halved and seeded
1/3 c. unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. Sriracha
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
8 lz soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
Scallions, thinly sliced
Cilantro, slivered
Black sesame seeds

It all starts with some chopping.  Chopped all vegetables into matchsticks.  Be super happy if you have a mandolin and break it out.  Once all the dicing is done, you should have about 8 cups of little veggies.  It's a lot, I know.  Put in a large bowl.

Start the noodles going in a large pot of salted water.  Stir occasionally and cook until al dente.  Don't trust your package, use your judgement.  Overcook and you're going to have an unpleasant gooey gummy mess.  Trust me here.  Drain and run under water to cool noodles.  Keep running if you want cold, we went with lukewarm.

Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, oils and Sriracha.  This is a wonderful sauce by the way.  Drizzle over cut veggies and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.  It's ok to eat a lot of this right now, without the noodles even.  It's veggies and a vinaigrette.  Totally good for you.

Toss in noodles when they are done.  Season with salt and pepper if needed and top with scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds.  Eat with chopsticks if you are adventurous!

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