There’s no escaping the record-breaking 113 degree weather in Los Angeles. It wouldn’t be so bad except my husband and I are all about gaman. That means we’re the only crazy people on our street to tough it out and not turn on our air conditioning. I had to figure out a dinner plan that would give us some respite.
I like that the ingredients for this recipe are accessible to those of us outside Japan, but I have to admit it was strange to eat somen this way. I’m used to eating it with a dashi-based soup so the basil and garlic really threw me. But after a few bites I found the flavors to be spot on. It had just the right amount of saltiness and the perfect hint of garlic. The sweetness of the tomatoes and the fragrant basil melded together beautifully. A simple, refreshing meal on an unusually hot autumn night!
On another note, I want to thank everyone who voted for me for the first round of Project Food Blog! Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut, but hope you continue to check out all the amazing bloggers and vote for your favorites! This week’s voting ends September 30.
Chilled Tomato Somen
Adapted from Japanese Pure and Simple
Makes 4 servings
3 medium-sized tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. shoyu
3-4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 bunches somen
freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil, chiffonade
Make and “X” incision on the bottom of the tomatoes and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, or until the skin begins to peel. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain, then peel the skin off the tomatoes. Slice in half, remove all the seeds, chop, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the grated garlic, salt, shoyu, and olive oil and mix. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
Cook the somen in a pot of boiling water according to the package directions. After it’s cooked, drain, rinse under cold running water until cool, drain again, and put in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and toss. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with basil.