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When those cucumbers start coming in, they come on strong. Of course we’ve enjoyed them in salads and as fresh dill pickles (https://gardeningonthego.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/making-fresh-refrigerator-dill-pickles/) and all by themselves. But lately I have been searching for something else to do with cucumbers.

Then I “discovered” this totally cool Oriental-style noodle salad that is perfect for these warm end-of-summer days. My recipe has lots of room for improvisation. Indeed, latest bowl that I mixed up contained bits of dry seaweed which was chopped fine and cooked along with the pasta. Or try adding some steamed, diagonally-sliced snow peas or tender green beans for example. Or maybe slivers of some different greens?

This recipe makes a lot, which is good because you’ll want to share. Or if you don’t want to share, you’ll have plenty for yourself. (Warning here: This stuff is positively addictive.) I usually divide the ingredients by half, which results in about a quart and a half of salad, or a good-sized bowl full. That’s enough for four to enjoy it as a main dish or side. The whole recipe is great to take to those pot-luck meals.

Asian Noodle Salad

8 ounces angel-hair pasta, broken into thirds
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons grated ginger, or two teaspoons dry
2-4 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf Italian parsley
2 carrots, shredded
4 cucumbers, peeled, halved (and seeded if necessary), sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced green onions, or chives
Shredded fresh spinach or kale if desired
2 tablespoons sesame seed, more if desired

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside as you combine all the other ingredients in order given in a large bowl. Stir in pasta. Chill for at least an hour to let flavors mingle. Serve cold. Serves 8.

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