Since we've had access to so much lettuce lately, it's only natural we'll be bringing salad for lunch. One of the salads I threw together was a soba salad. I know that sounds a little strange, but I’ll tell you why it worked. The baby lettuce I've been getting at the farmers' market actually has flavor! Some taste like mustard greens, others taste subtly sweet, and some have a more familiar lettuce taste. They remind me more of herbs than lettuce. Tossed with the soba and a tasty dressing, it just worked. If you don’t have delicious baby lettuce available, try tossing the noodles with cabbage chiffonade, shredded carrot and finely sliced green onions. Another option is fresh asparagus thinly sliced on the diagonal or fresh sugar snap peas. I left ours "vegetarian" but you could throw in some meat or seafood. Whatever tickles your fancy.
The dressing I threw together is just a variation of my peanut vinaigrette. Yes, I know it’s cheating, but I’m lazy like that. I substituted the peanut butter with Korean hot pepper paste, and nixed the curry powder. Doing so little completely changed the flavor. The result is a little sweet, a little spicy (but not too much for Sonny to eat), a little salty and a little nutty from the sesame oil. If you like Korean flavors, I think you’ll enjoy this.
Gochu jang (Korean hot pepper paste) Vinaigrette
makes about 1/2 to 1 cup
- 1 to 2 tbs Korean hot pepper paste
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 3 tbs rice vinegar
- 1 tbs tamari
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ to 1/3 cup peanut (or a neutral oil)
- soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
- baby lettuce or other vegetables for the salad
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- cilantro for garnish
To serve, toss the noodles in some dressing and set them atop your lettuce/vegetables. Top with your garnishes and drizzle more dressing on top, if desired.
I’m going to submit this to Weekend Herb Blogging , which was created by Kayln's Kitchen and is currently being hosted by maninas:food matters. It’s a weekly event, so there’s always a chance to participate! Click here to see who's hosting in the coming weeks.