Emerald City Salad {Soba Noodle & Green Veg with a Sesame & Ginger Dressing}

For one Wednesday, the gods favoured me with the gift of a day off and I actually made it to our delightful Wednesday Farmers’ Market. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take pictures because it really was a gleaming sea of the lush, jewel-toned greenery on the stands at this point in the season, but I don’t get out much, so presence of mind left me bod when I sauntered out the tree fort door.

I’d had the idea for this salad thing bangin’ around in my noggin for some time and it’s been all about making good use of all those gorgeous greens locally available right now. I think it would be delightful most times of the year, and am certainly looking forward to making it mid-January with different types of greens, but it really is perfect for supper on a hot July evening.

We ate this tonight as a main dish with some leftover pork loin on top to make it a complete meal. Any kind of protein could be used in place of the pork to make it a complete meal. I had intended to use tofu, but missed due to over-stimulation + lack of proper plan. Over supper, shrimp and salmon were mentioned as contenders. Even a healthy helping of toasted nuts would not be remiss and I think that’s why I’ll probably make this salad a million times over: it’s incredibly versatile.

This recipe makes four main or 6-8 side servings.

What you need:

  • 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  •  1/4 cup of olive oil + 1 tbsp for kale massaging
  • 1/4 cup of dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tsp chili flakes + more for serving
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 300 g soba noodles, uncooked
  • 3 cups of fresh kale, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pint fresh peas, podded
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes, cleaned and cut however your little heart desires – I like to leave them long and let their curly, Tim Burton-esque nature come through, but you do you

What you do:

  1. In a food processor, whizz together the ginger, shallot, olive oil, soya sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, chili flakes and white pepper until well-combined.
  2. In a large bowl, massage your chopped kale with the reserved tablespoon of olive oil until soft, but not limp.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, boil water for the soba noodles and cook according to package instructions (by the by, my favourite soba noodles say they should be cooked for 6 minutes, but I find 4-5 at the most makes for a good noodle – err on the side of al dente!)
  4. Once the noodles are in, put the peas, asparagus and scapes in a steamer pot/basket and place on top of the boiling noodle pot and steam until al dente, then immediately rinse with cold water until cool to the touch.
  5. Once the noodles are done, drain and rinse in cold water until cooled to the touch.
  6. Toss everything together in the bowl with the kale, adding enough dressing to coat, but not drown.
  7. Serve sprinkled with chili flakes or toasted sesame seeds.

 

 

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