Who wants to turn their oven on when it’s this hot outside? I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to be cooking a pot roast when it’s 100 degrees outside! After a long, hot day of running errands, yard work and cleaning house, all I want for dinner is something cool and refreshing – not warm and gooey. Don’t get me wrong- I love a nice, warm tuna casserole as much as the next guy, but definitely not in the summer. That’s why this salad is particularly nice. Cold, crisp, light – everything a summer salad should be!

I made this for a Father’s Day picnic with my parents. We went to an outside concert where you could take a blanket and a picnic and just spread out and listen to good music. So much fun! My mother brought cucumber sandwiches, cantaloupe, watermelon, cheese and crackers and summer sausage, and I brought this salad along with some chocolate cupcakes and pink lemonade -  what a great meal! We all really enjoyed the salad – it was absolutely perfect for a picnic! I really loved the crunch of the vegetables – so refreshing! This is a dish I will most definitely be making again and again – it’s great because it gets better the longer it sits. I made it the night before and it was perfect the next day. This is an ideal summer salad – a definite keeper!

Crunchy Noodle Salad
-Barefoot Contessa

Kosher salt
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds, divided
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti 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 spaghetti, 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 the parsley and toss together.

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6 Comments »

  1. You’re right – it’s the perfect summer salad. I’ll be making this SOON!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mother — July 1, 2009 @ 8:24 AM

  2. Do you think it matters if you use regular/light sesame oil? That’s what I have.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sarah — July 1, 2009 @ 9:30 AM

  3. Sarah – I think whatever kind of sesame oil you have is just fine!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amy — July 1, 2009 @ 9:59 AM

  4. I’ve made this Ina recipe before. It’s a definite keeper and perfect for the summer.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Eliana — July 1, 2009 @ 10:12 AM

  5. Yummy! I’ll have to try this! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Hornedfroggy of My Baking Heart — July 1, 2009 @ 1:25 PM

  6. trying this this week for sure!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Hetal — July 7, 2009 @ 8:32 AM

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