To counteract all the cheese-binges and nights out, the only food I’m really preparing at the moment (aside from muesli – latest combination = almonds, cranberries, coconut & dates) is salads. This week we’ve unearthed a couple of real winners from the stack of old Martha Stewart magazines lying around the apartment. Much as it galls me to put sugar into a salad dressing, Martha usually turns out to be right. Which also galls me. Anyway. The soba salad looks just as good today as it did when first made last night – we stored the dressed noodles in a separate container to the prawns and veg. I took this shot right before devouring the leftovers for my post-yoga lunch!
Soba Salad with Asparagus & Prawns
- Big bunch asparagus (1 pound)
- 1 pound large raw prawns (peeled & deveined)
- ¾ pound soba noodles
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tbs rice vinegar
- 1 tbs sugar
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus & add the spears to the pot for about 3 minutes. You want them tender and bright green, but still with some bite. Plunge the cooked spears straight into some cold water, or run cold water over them in a colander. This will stop the cooking so they keep their colour and texture.
- Return water to the boil, add the prawns and cook until they’re pink and opaque. Should only take about 2 minutes. Remove from the water and put the cooked prawns in a bowl with the asparagus.
- Return water to the boil, add the soba noodles and cook according to their packet instructions. Usually about 4 minutes. Drain them, rinse under cold water and drain again.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, oil, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.
- To assemble: Divide the soba noodles among 4 bowls. Drizzle with dressing, top with asparagus and prawns, then sprinkle scallions and basil over the top. It won’t seem like much dressing but it goes a long way, and once it’s all tossed together it’s tasty and light. A great summer dinner.
Cucumber & Celery Salad with Tuna
(I halved this receipe to serve two, but you could hold back from dressing leftovers so they keep better, otherwise things get a little soggy)
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 3 tbs rice vinegar
- 1 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cucumbers sliced into half moons
- 3 celery stalks sliced a similar size (save some of the tender inner leaves)
- 2 x 5 ounce cans of tuna, drained & flaked
- In a decent sized bowl, stir together the poppy seeds, vinegar, sugar and oil.
- Add cucumber, celery & tuna; season with salt & pepper and toss all together so it’s coated with dressing.
- Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of celery leaves and maybe some fresh parsley or cilantro.
I also reincarnated the pearl couscous salad with sliced snow peas, sugar snaps, diced zucchini and corn kernels (all raw). It makes for a beautifully summery bowl of greens and golds. Don’t forget a handful of chopped almonds for crunchy texture!