We first had this salad at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, when Jerri’s niece Lynne made it for a family dinner. Jerri and I were both very much taken by the combination of flavors and the simplicity of the recipe.
8 oz. mostaccioli noodles
2 medium cucumbers (about 6-7 inches long), unpeeled and sliced thinly
1 medium onion (about 3 inches in diameter), sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. MSG (Accent)
1/4 tsp. powdered garlic
Wash and remove the stem and flower ends of the cucumbers and peel the onion. Slice them very thin.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt and cook the noodles al dente, ten to eleven minutes. Drain and then rinse the noodles in cold water. Combine the noodles, onion and cucumber in a large bowl.
To make the dressing, put the sugar, water, vinegar, salt, garlic powder and MSG in a quart jar, cap it tightly and shake well to dissolve the sugar and mix everything thoroughly.
Pour the dressing over the noodles. Stir well, cover and refrigerate overnight. This salad is even better on the third day and keeps well.
NOTES: Accent is a brand name for monosodium glutamate, which enhances the flavor of many foods. Although there may be people who are sensitive to MSG, the United States Food and Drug Administration classifies MSG as safe when “eaten at customary levels” and multiple double-blind studies have failed to demonstrate adverse health effects from MSG.
Our bodies actually make glutamate, and it is found in everything from bouillon cubes to veggie burgers. On the plus side, MSG has 60 percent less sodium than an equal amount of salt. Lynne’s recipe called for a full tablespoon of MSG, but a bit less seems to work just fine.