Soba noodles tossed with cucumber, scallions and a light yet creamy sesame-ginger-tahini sauce. This would be a great vegan potluck dish, but note that it is best when served promptly, as the salt will draw out the water from the cucumbers and dilute the flavors. It can be gluten-free if you buy gluten-free soba noodles, soy sauce and miso.
Suggested equipment: Two tools worth owning: a Microplane for finely grating ginger (and citrus zest, chocolate, and Parmesan), and a julienne peeler for slicing long strips of cucumber (and apples, shoestring potatoes, etc.).
On leftovers: If your leftovers are watery, blame the cucumbers. Pour off some of the extra liquid and punch up the flavor with a light drizzle of sesame sauce and tamari/soy sauce. Leftover sesame-ginger sauce would make a light vegetable dip for carrots and bell pepper strips.
Freeze it: If you have leftover ginger, freeze it whole. When you’re ready to grate it for a dish, pull off a frozen chunk and grate it against a Microplane. No need to peel it, as the skin will stay on the top side of the Microplane.
Change it up: Spice up this dish with chili garlic sauce or sriracha if you’d like.