Recipe of the Week: Soba Noodle Salad

In many parts of Canada the August long weekend is the real party weekend of the summer season. Normally I carefully guard my quiet cottage retreat, but I happily have company at this time of the year.

This past weekend we had both old and new friends and had a great time eating and drinking red wine and enjoying the lake. I always ask company to provide one meal but this weekend both couples brought so much food I didn't really cook all weekend. The recipe I want to share with you today is a fabulous soba noodle salad which Sarah Bonsall and Robert Oullette brought. It was such a hit that we were all cruising the refrigerator over the weekend looking for any leftovers. Sarah and Robert left some extra dressing with us and I have since mixed it into a tomato pasta sauce and used it as a dressing for a green salad.

Recently the recipe of the week has been about quick and easy suppers so don't be alarmed at the number of ingredients. It may not be like the super fast recipes I've been writing about but it is easy and straight forward. This is a great party dish - perfect for buffets, barbeques, pot luck dinners, picnics or family gatherings. I'm off to a pot luck dinner tomorrow night and this will be my contribution.Soba Noodle Salad

Dressing

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili oil or chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp cilantro, minced

Salad

1lb soba noodles
2 tbsp hijiki seaweed, soaked and cut into small pieces or seaweed flakes, unsoaked
4 scallions, minced
1 carrot, shredded
1 sweet red pepper, julienned
1/2 English cucumber
2 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup roasted cashews

1. Heat oils in pot over medium heat. Add garlic and chili and saute briefly being careful not to let them burn. Stir in vinegar, soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add honey, stirring to dissolve. Mix corn starch and a couple of tablespoons of water and whisk into simmering liquid. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. When the mixture has thickened slightly, remove from heat and cool. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and set aside.

2. Meanwhile cook noodles according to the package. Drain and rinse in cold, running water. Remove excess water. Lightly toss with sesame oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Before serving combine chilled noodles with prepared vegetables except avocado. Coat liberally with dressing and toss well. Garnish with avocado and cashews. Serve immediately.


Many thanks to Sarah Bonsall and Robert Oullette of Reading Toronto for this delicious recipe.

photograph is of soba noodles and is not representative of the finished salad