So, that soup I told you about… turned into this noodle salad. I gave Eric the choice tonight – either noodle salad or hot and sour soup. Both would be made with bok choy, soba noodles, and tofu, but I think Eric is sick of soup because he immediately chose the noodle salad. No loss, though, because I had some inspiring ingredients in the fridge and a recipe in mind.
I own very few cookbooks. Two, in fact. Most of my inspiration comes from other food blogs or meals I eat at restaurants. One of my cookbooks is by Heidi Swanson – Super Natural Cooking. I love this book (thanks Caroline!) because Heidi always uses good, whole ingredients with really tasty results. She also writes a blog – 101 Cookbooks – (apparently she owns just a few more than me), which is where the base of this recipe comes from.
I also had some very special ingredients in my fridge – green garlic and locally-made tofu. I’m writing this recipe the exact way that I made it, but if you don’t have green garlic or the amazing tofu that I found last week, just omit or substitute. I did manage to use some of that harissa I made yesterday, and it tasted great on top of this salad.
Soba Noodles with Ginger-Scallion Dressing
adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Otsu Recipe
zest of 1 lemon 1 ~1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
juice of fresh lemon
1 stalk green garlic
2 stalks scallions
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce works)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
for the salad:
12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup chopped scallions and green garlic
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 head bok choy (baby bok choy would be nice also), chopped
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, toss all the ingredients for the dressing in the food processor, blend while pouring in the oil. When the water boils, cook the soba noodles for about 3 minutes, just until soft. They cook very quickly, so be careful to watch them.
In a separate, non-stick pan, pan fry the tofu in olive oil, letting the sides crisp up a bit. The tofu will become sort of bouncy and the edges nice and golden. Set aside, then cook the bok choy. If chopped finely, this will only take a few minutes; you still want the leaves to be dark green and the stalks to be mostly crunchy. Set these aside and lastly, cook the mushrooms in the pan. I read somewhere once that cooking all the veggies separately lets them develop their own flavor… I’m not sure if this happened or not, but cooking them separately did ease my usual problem of putting too many vegetables in the pan.
When all the veggies are cooked, toss with the noodles and dressing. Top with fresh scallions and green garlic. I also used the harissa I made yesterday, which added both a great flavor and nice color.