The month of December was pretty tough for my family. I haven’t opened up about it yet, but we found out that my grandfather was sick. He underwent a very serious surgery and his recovery was tough. Luckily, he made it through, was released on Christmas Day and now, he’s better than ever. Us Italians, we’re thick-skinned and strong willed!
While he was in the hospital on the Upper East Side, our family was in his recovery room every day. It was comforting to have everyone around, because it’s easy to worry yourself into a panic in those sorts of situations.
To get some fresh air, we went in shifts to Le Pain Quotidien for lunch, which was just a couple blocks away from the hospital. I had been to Le Pain Quotidien before, but only for a coffee or a delicious French pastry. Never for a meal.
If you’ve never been to a Le Pain, I really suggest you go – they’re even great for getting some work done, tucked away in a little nook. Actually, it’s named a “bakery and communal table.” Pretty cool.
What did I get? The Organic Tofu & Shaved Cabbage Salad with Miso-Ponzu Dressing. It was a tough choice, because that menu is incredible – there’s the Organic Lentil & Avocado Salad, the Prosciutto, Pear & Fig sandwich and of course, the Paris, Ham & Gruyere tartine. Talk about fomo!
Yep, you need to go to Le Pain.
The salad looks very unassuming at first bite, but the miso-ponzu dressing is unreal. It makes the salad absolutely delicious – the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Every time we went back there for lunch (even on Christmas Eve!), I got that salad.
Recently, I found a note in my phone that simply say “miso-pon noodles.”
To make a long story short, these noodles would have never happened without those lunches back in December. And today, I give you this recipe, which combines crunchy veggies, baked tofu and zucchini noodles to create the perfect cold noodle salad.
I probably drank a cup of this miso-ponzu dressing before I signed off on it for the recipe. It’s just perfect.
This noodle salad can be made in advance for lunch – the longer the noodles sit in the sauce, the more the zucchini absorbs the flavors of the miso-ponzu. Just place it in a container, put it in the fridge and shake it up before you eat.
Well, thanks for listening. I hope you love this salad as much as I do. And, you can learn more about my Pops here, if you’re interested. He’s the love of my life!
What’s your favorite cold noodle salad?