Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Scallion, Radish, and Cucumber Salad with Cashews and Vermicelli

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

After last night's salad success I decided to try my luck with another meatless meal from The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson. It was one of those evenings when laziness took hold and the thought of firing up the stove was too much to handle and a cool bowl of noodles mixed with fresh herbs and crisp vegetables seemed like just the thing.

But while this Scallion, Radish, and Cucumber Salad with Cashews and Vermicelli was just right labor- and flavor-wise, I was concerned that it would be too light to pass for an evening meal. For a moment or two I considered running out and picking up a bit of fish or chicken to serve alongside, but I decided that I'd take the leap and go it alone.

Once I chopped all the vegetables into their respective shapes and soaked the noodles I set about whisking the dressing together. The combination of a chili-infused sesame paste, a bracing ginger-lemon syrup, and just the right amount of fish sauce made for a dressing that was an umami explosion. And once I tossed the vegetables and noodles with the dressing, the toasted sesame seeds, and cashews I knew there would be no need for any additional courses. It was the epitome of a quick, healthy, and almost vegetarian* meal.

* The fish sauce disqualifies it from being truly vegetarian, but you can omit it and sub in a light soy sauce instead.

Win The Vegetarian Option

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Vegetarian Option to give away this week.

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