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CUCUMBERS WITH COOL SOMEN NOODLES
from "Monday-to-Friday Pasta" by Michèle Urvater

This dish is perfect for summer nights and will keep well for a couple of days. If you do make it in advance, store the cucumbers separately from the noodles. Because the flavors of this dish are so unusual, I think it is better to serve small portions as a side dish to grilled salmon, tuna, or swordfish, for example, rather than as a full-blown main course.

These Japanese wheat noodles have a stickier quality than Western wheat noodles. If you substitute Western pasta for the somen, you'll need an extra 5 to 10 minutes because they take longer to cook.

Pasta: Thin strands
Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
INGREDIENTS (CLICK TO BUY)

Salt
2 carrots
2 scallions (green onions)
1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried mint
2 cucumbers
1/4 cup soy sauce (preferably low-salt)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound somen (Japanese thin wheat noodles), vermicelli or thin spaghetti

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PREPARATION

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles.
2. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut them into thick rounds. Trim the scallions and cut them into 2-inch lengths. Peel the ginger, and rinse the mint leaves and pat them dry. Peel, seed, and cut the cucumbers into 1/4-inch dice; set them aside.
3. In a food processor, combine the carrots, scallions, ginger, and mint; process until smooth. Add the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, and sugar, and process until all the ingredients are well blended. Season to taste with salt (added judiciously because of the soy sauce) and pepper, and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
4. When the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook until they are tender but still firm to the bite, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water until they are completely chilled. Drain again, and pat dry. Add them to the dressing in the mixing bowl. Toss well and chill; until serving time. To serve, ladle the portions out and top each one with some of the diced cucumbers.



Buy The Ingredients Use Thin Spaghetti
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Cal-Organic Organic Carrots, Bag - $1.99/ea Save! 2 for $3.00
 1lb
 
  Ocean Mist Farms Scallions - $1.99/ea
 5.5oz, Farm Fresh, bunch
 
  Organic Mint - $2.49/ea
 0.75oz
 
  Greenhouse Cucumber, Medium - $1.99/ea Save! 2 for $3.50
 Farm Fresh, Med
 
  Roland Special Reserve White Wine Vinegar - $3.69/ea
 16.9oz
 
  Ronzoni Vermicelli
Vermicelli is currently unavailable
 
You May Already Have
  Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce - $2.99/ea
 10oz
 
  Spice Supreme Ground Ginger - $1.19/ea
 3oz
 
  Wesson Vegetable Oil - $3.99/ea
 24oz
 
  Domino Granulated White Sugar - $2.49/ea
 2lb box
 
  Morton's Regular Salt - $1.19/ea
 26oz
 
  Gefen Ground Black Pepper - $1.88/ea
 3oz
 
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