My two previous posts featured substantial pasta dishes, one loaded with meat, one packed with cheese. Very naughty of me!  To compensate, here is a recipe that should bring my polls a little higher with the health-conscious, as these noodles won’t make you feel guilty once the meal is over. Soba noodles are one of my favorite types of “pasta,”  I love the hearty taste of buckwheat, its toothsome texture, and the way soba pairs so well with veggies and soy-based dressings. The recipe, called otsu, comes from Heidi Swanson’s Supernatural Cooking, a cookbook I use so much that I bought three more as gifts for (very special) friends! If that’s not a huge endorsement, I don’t know what would be… 😉

(adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Supernatural Cooking)

For the dressing:
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

for the noodles:
12 ounces soba noodles
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Make the dressing by combining the lemon zest, ginger, honey, cayenne and salt in a small bowl, mixing very hard with a whisk (you can use a small food processor, if available). Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce, and continue mixing (or processing) until smooth. Drizzle the olive oil and the sesame as you mix, to form an emulsion. Reserve.

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes (do not overcook), drain, and rinse briefly in cold water. Transfer to a bowl, add 3/4 cup of the prepared dressing, then add the cilantro, green onions, cucumber, and combine. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and serve. Add more fresh cilantro if you like.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Heidi adds sauteed tofu to the noodles, I kept them simple, serving some grilled shrimp alongside. Leftovers are AWESOME served cold. Remove from the fridge, leave standing at room temperature for an hour or so, and amaze your taste buds at how delicious these noodles can be. The cucumber offers a pleasant crunch, the sesame/soy flavor always makes me feel healthy. A very “zen” dish… Make it, and you will be making it again, and again!

ONE YEAR AGO: Potato-Rosemary Bread

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