After a week or so of cooking several meals that were just okay, I finally made myself a dinner tonight that hit all of my high points. It’s quick, simple, nutritious, pretty, and endlessly adaptable (and delicious, of course). While browsing through some food blogs earlier today, I came across a recipe for cold soba noodles with a soy-sesame vinaigrette dressing. I realized that, much as I love soba, I’ve never fixed it. So I headed to the local market after work, and in 20 minutes, I had prepared the following:

Toss together:
1 8-oz. package buckwheat soba noodles, simmered 6 minutes, drained, and run under cold water
1 small bunch of scallions, sliced
2 very large carrots, peeled, and then shaved down with the veggie peeler (so you have a few cups of long carrot ribbons)

I whisked up a small dish of sesame oil, soy sauce, and sherry vinegar (just a few tablespoons of each, as they’re all strong flavors) and tossed it with the noodles and veggies then sprinkled it all with toasted sesame seeds. There’s really no need for any oil other than the tablespoon or two of sesame oil in the dressing; soba noodles don’t get gluey like regular pasta.

This sounds so simple as to be boring, but I was actually closing my eyes and jumping up and down a little as I ate a dish of it. And of course, I’m already thinking of variations–cucumber, pickled ginger, daikon, sauteed mushrooms, lotus root, hot sauce, cilantro. It could be bulked up with fried tofu, seitan, sauteed shrimp or scallops, grilled marinated steak, etc. The mind reels. This dish is definitely going into the regular rotation.