Have you seen the “Going Going Gone” episode of Barefoot Contessa? In it she makes Crunchy Noodle Salad, Asian Grilled Salmon, and Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberry Sauce. This episode really makes me want to jump into her kitchen. (She is my favorite—isn’t her kitchen such a peaceful place?) I have had this episode saved on my DVR for weeks now because I have been dying to make the Crunchy Noodle Salad. It is just so appealing! Well I finally made it!
I made some adjustments:
- Instead of spaghetti, as Ina suggests, I used soba noodles. Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour. The texture of these noodles is fantastic!
- I had some black sesame seeds on hand so I used those instead of white sesame seeds.
- I only used one red bell pepper instead of two.
- I contemplated replacing the vegetable oil with olive oil. I don’t like cooking with vegetable oil but I feared the olive oil flavor would be too powerful and offset the wonderful flavors of salad so I stuck with the vegetable oil.
- One adjustment I didn’t make this time but that I will make next time is to use crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth. I think the crunch of the peanut butter will add to the great textures of this dish.
- I think julienned carrots would be an excellent addition to boost the crunch factor.
The verdict: FANTASTIC!
I am not kidding. This is one of the best dishes! It is ABSOLUTELY delicious. The fresh flavors and combination of textures really make this dish wonderful. I served it with teriyaki-seared scallops; however, it would be a perfect accompaniment to steaks, salmon, or any other grilled protein. Furthermore, this is a perfect dish to bring to a picnic, cookout, or potluck. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Barefoot Contessa’s Crunchy Soba Noodle Salad:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.
For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and peanut butter in a medium bowl.
Combine the noodles, sugar snap peas, peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and toss together.