I have every one of Nigella Lawson's cookbooks, but I hardly ever actually cook out of them. They have beautiful pictures and the narratives she writes prior to each recipe are always really fun to read, but something always prevents me from actually making the recipes. However, for every rule there is also an exception. I make "her" cold Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds all the time (obviously Nigella didn't actually invent this dish, but she gives nice measurements for the accompanying sauce).
The recipe is in Forever Summer (on page 48 to be exact) and that page in my book is splattered and marked due to repeated use. I should probably just write down the measurements for the dressing on a notecard and leave the book on the shelf, but time after time I turn to it just to ensure that I'm using the correct proportions. This is an especially great party or potluck dish, because it's a little different from your standard pasta salad. People always think it was much more complicated than it actually was. Oh, and the leftovers are out of this world good. Because I like you guys, the recipe is after the jump.
Photo by Marisa McClellan Nigella's Cold Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
8 ounces soba noodles
2 teaspoons rice vinegar (the sweetened kind is just fine)
5 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey (I use buckwheat honey for a little added depth of flavor, but any variety works)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Toasted the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a high heat until they look golden brown, and tip them into a bowl.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some salt. Put in the soba noodles and cook them for about 6 minutes (or according to package instructions) until they are tender but not mushy. Have a bowl of iced water waiting to plunge them into after draining*.
In the bowl you are going to serve them in, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil. Then finely slice the scallions and put them into the bowl with the cooled drained noodles and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.
Leave the sesame seed noodles for about half an hour to let the flavors develop, although this is not absolutely necessary or sometimes even possible. Serves 4 as part of a meal; or 2 when eaten, gratifyingly, as they are.
*I readily admit that I always skip this step, as I like to avoid having another dish to wash. I dump them into a colander and just run cold a water over them for a moment or two.
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