Cold Soba, Cucumber, & Red Pepper Salad

I recently read Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked which discusses earth, water, air, and fire as the basic elements of cooking.  Each section focuses on his adventures learning to cook a certain dish using a particular element.  I flipped directly to the ‘air’ section which documented his adventures in bread making (including the basic country bread from Tartine) but eventually did make my way back through the whole book.  So many recipe ideas came to mind while reading about braises (filed under ‘water’) that I wanted to jump right into making all of them. DSCN2198 But being the middle of August, it just didn’t feel right to be braising meat for hours on the stove.  I’m always on the prowl for easy to make summer recipes and this one from Budget Bytes is perfect.  It’s quick, simple, and allows for customization.

We also received a super cool crinkled (is that the right word?) knife in the mail from my fiancée’s parents (thank you!) which gave the veggies a neat texture.  The recipes calls for peanuts, which we didn’t have, but I imagine they would give the meal a nice crunch and flavor. DSCN2206 Given the cool weather this summer (most days the high is in the low 70s) I probably could have braised up a storm if I wanted, but I think eating seasonally has its advantages.  Before I get to braising and making soups throughout the winter I look forward to anything and everything pumpkin or apple spiced during the fall.  The next few weekends will also be occupied by stocking up the freezer for the coming school year. DSCN2197 Speaking of school year, with school comes football season!  Here’s another one of my critically acclaimed (not really) Michigan bread photoshops, back by popular demand (again, not really). DesmondPose Happy eating and Go Blue!

Cold Soba, Cucumber, & Red Pepper Salad


  • 8 oz soba noodles
  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly diced
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions Cook soba noodles in boiling water until tender, about 6 minutes.  Drain the noodles and rinse with cool water. While the noodles cook chop up the cucumber, pepper, and peanuts.  In a separate bowl stir together the vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and red pepper flakes to make the dressing. Once everything is ready toss everything together and mix in a large bowl.  Can be served at room temperature or after cooling in the refrigerator. Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

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