Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Soba Noodle Salad

Some nights I'm in the mood for a big production number for dinner. The night I made this, I was feeling pretty much the opposite. It's made up of stuff I had around and needed to use up, but don't let that fool you. This incredibly simple and fresh dish had us coming back for more. It's perfect for a summer night or even a nice light lunch. The leftovers are also great because it's all had a chance to really marinate in the dressing. You can definitely throw this together and put it in the fridge for later and feel fine about it.

I used thinner stalks of asparagus for this. Normally, I prefer the fatter asparagus, but the dainty ones are just right. You can also switch things up with the veggies and subsitute those little miniature ears of corn for the broccoli, or chopped bell peppers for the asparagus or fava beans for the edamame instead. These three were what I just happened to have on hand and needed to use up. The carrot really brightens things up, as usual.

Soba noodles are hearty Japanese buckwheat noodles that are pretty easy to find in the Asian food section of most grocery stores. Whole wheat spaghetti would be a find substitute in a pinch, though. I'd snap the spaghetti noodles in half before boiling them to keep them to a manageable size (you shouldn't have to do a lot of fork twirling).


For the salad:
1 cup shelled edamame
1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
10 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
1 cup shredded carrot
4 green onions, chopped

For the dressing:
6 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tbsp oil (sesame if you have it)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 1/2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp lime juice

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Fit a pot of water with a steamer or a collander and put the edamame, broccoli and asparagus in. Bring the water to a boil and cover. Steam it for up to 4 minutes, until the broccoli is just tender, then remove it from the heat and run it under some cold water to preserve the crunch of the veggies. Pour them into a large bowl and set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles for about 4 minutes, then run them under cold water. Drain them really well and add them to the bowl with the veggies. Give it all a good toss. Add the carrots and green onions and toss it all together again.

Mix in half of the dressing and let it set for 10-15 minutes. Give it another toss and then serve. You can also put it in the fridge to serve it later. Whenever you serve it, add more dressing as desired.

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