Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chilled Tomato Somen

Lucky me, I got to work from home today! I made myself a nice fresh lunch. Chilled Tomato Somen from Japanese Light is a hybrid of Japanese and Italian cuisine. The tomato topping is like an Italian bruschetta with the addition of soy sauce. The somen noodles are Japanese and have the perfect consistency for a chilled salad. The author, Kimiko Barber, mentions that this dish was inspired during a stay in an Umbrian farmhouse while visiting Italy.

I used a box of imported Italian chopped tomatoes. It would have been better if I used fresh vine-ripe tomatoes as suggested in this recipe. But it still came out okay because these tomatoes still kind of had their chopped shape. I just hate the whole process of peeling tomatoes!

Chilled Tomato Somen
(Serves 2)

1 pound very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7 ounces dried somen noodles
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil and flat leaf parsley, cut into strips

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and immediately plunge them into ice water. Peel, halve and discard the seeds. Chop them coarsely and mix with the grated garlic, salt, soy sauce, and olive oil. Refrigerate the tomato sauce while you cook the somen noodles.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the noodles. Stir to ensure that the noodles stay separate. Add a glass of cold water when the water is about to boil over. Return to a boil, drain and rinse under cold running water. In a large mixing bowl toss the noodles with the tomato sauce. Divide the noodles between two serving plates, season with pepper, garnish with the fresh herbs and serve.

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