It’s wet. It’s so wet here we’re back to wearing rubber boots at the park. My tomato plants look as cranky as I am about this though my potato plants seem to be growing 2 inches per day and the chard and salad greens are thriving. And I’m doing my best to disregard that thermometer and rain gauge, knowing summer is just around the corner. . . . A soba noodle salad I taught in class this last weekend is also helping counter the gloomy weather. And it’s the perfect foil for all those veggies that are thriving in these conditions–radishes, tender young greens, and peas. And I think it will take well to other veggies as the season progresses, like zucchini, green beans, etc. A friend also just sent me a recipe for Braised Radishes which I haven’t made yet but will this week. It sounds intriguing and like a great way to use those lovely red roots (as my son calls them)
And speaking of the season progressing, I’ve had lots of fun planning my classes for the summer. They are posted at CookWithWhatYouHave.com. So if you’d like new ideas for peas, favas (a simple, kind-of-life-changing method in which you don’t have to peel each bean!), new potatoes, berries, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, sweet onions, . . . come take a class. I’ve also left enough times open this summer in case you’d like to schedule a private class/party with a specific menu. Finally, I’ve recently had some requests for a pie-baking class, and gluten-free classes. Let me know if you’re interested in either!
Asian Noodle Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing
— Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair
1 (8-ounce) package soba noodles (or whole wheat spaghetti – Barilla is a good brand for these)
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 large or two small heads of bok choy, (or 1 bunch beat greens, young mustard greens, chard or most any other green) washed and cut into ½ inch ribbons
6 radishes, scrubbed and cut in half and then thinly sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari (or regular soy sauce)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
couple of pinches of chili flakes (or more depending on your taste) or 1/2 tsp chili oil
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. About 3 minutes before the noodles are done add the chopped greens to the noodles, bring back to a boil and cook for a few more minutes. Drain and rinse noodles and greens in colander.
Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Keep seeds moving until they give off aroma, pop, and begin to brown. Remove and set aside. They burn easily so watch carefully.
Mix dressing ingredients in large bowl, add noodles, greens, radishes and cilantro. Mix well.
You can also add grated carrot, scallions, or choose to cook a different vegetable with the noodles such as broccoli, green beans, peas, etc.