This cold pasta salad is packed with refreshing cukes, carrots, sweet bell peppers, and scallions - then drenched in a creamy almond-butter sesame dressing. Make it ahead of time for easy lunches, dinners, or picnic and potluck fare.
1/2poundwhole wheat spaghetti pasta
1medium cucumberpeeled, quartered and sliced
2medium carrotspeeled and diced
1large redyellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1bunch scallionspeeled and sliced into rounds (reserve upper green parts for garnish)
1/2cupchopped roasted almonds or sliced almonds
2tablespoonstoasted sesame seeds*
Sesame Almond Butter Dressing:
1/3cuptoasted sesame oil
1/3cuprice wine vinegar
1/4cupTamari or soy sauce
2teaspoonspeeled and grated fresh ginger root
1medium garlic clovefinely minced minced
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, carrots, pepper, and scallions to the bowl too (reserve a few for garnishing).
Make the dressing: Add all of the Sesame Almond Butter Dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk briskly until blended. If the dressing seems thin, add a little more almond butter. If too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water. Pour over the veggies and pasta. Using salad tossers, tongs, or two wooden spoons, toss until well-combined.
Top with roasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and remaining scallions. Serve immediately or chill to eat later. Keeps well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
* To toast sesame seeds, place them in a saute pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and light brown, 4-5 minutes.