Refreshing on a warm summer night, these cold sesame “noodles” are an easy, healthy side dish to any Asian-themed dinner. They can also be enjoyed for a light lunch, or hell, even a midday snack.
I did employ a julienne peeler to turn the zucchini into noodles, but I bet a spiralizer would work even better. I have been lusting after a spiralizer for many months now. Even though it’s not that expensive, I feel a little excessive buying a big, complicated-looking piece of equipment that does one thing: turn veggies into ribbons. Alas, when it is raining money and I have a giant kitchen (as opposed to the tiny galley of current times), perhaps I can live in such luxury.
I used two kinds of sesame paste in this recipe. One is extremely smooth (pictured on the left), known as tahini. The other is my failed attempt at making this tahini with unhulled sesame seeds in my Vitamix. It is clearly chunkier, and tastes more bitter- closer to the sesame seed in its au natural form. I still have yet to try to make tahini in the Vita with hulled sesame seeds. That will be one of my next adventures.
I used purple bell peppers (oh, how I love you, farmer’s market) and baby carrots to lend these “noodles” a pop of rainbow color, but feel free to use whatever other veggies you have on hand. Cucumbers, red or yellow bell peppers, or even some peas would be a nice addition.
Cold Sesame Squash Noodles
Serves 1-2 (see note)
- 1 zucchini
- 6 baby carrots (or 1 regular carrot)
- 1/2 purple pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1.5 tbsp sesame paste (or 1 more tbsp tahini)
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 inch ginger, minced
- 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
- Julienne the zucchini. Slice the carrots and pepper into thin strips, lengthwise.
- Mix all of the dressing ingredients together.
- Toss veggies with dressing and stir in cilantro. Chow down.