Buckwheat noodle and winter vegetable salad

Preparation 1 hour, 5 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Serves Serves 4     adjust servings

Making pasta is a relaxing exercise but if you're pressed for time, store-bought soba noodles make a fine substitute. A 10-ounce package will do the trick. This salad can be served with the noodles warm or cold.

Ingredients

  • Buckwheat Noodles
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Vegetables for the salad
  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 1.5-1.75 pounds), peeled and diced (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces of cabbage, shredded
  • 8 ounces of carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup of chickpeas
  • For the dressing
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 6-8 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 3-4 limes. See note.)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • Garnish
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 bird's eye chiles, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, torn
  • 2 tablespoons mint, torn

Instructions

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

      Toss squash with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes to help pieces cook evenly.

        While the squash is in the oven, make the buckwheat noodles. Combine flours in a bowl and then form a hole in the centre of the pile and crack the eggs into it. Then add the oil, salt and water.

          Using a fork, break the yolks and draw in some flour, a little at time until the dough become too thick to mix this way.

            Dump dough onto clean, flat surface and continue kneading with hands until well-combined and it form a cohesive mass. Form it into a ball and leave it to rest 20 minutes to half an hour.

              Then roll out to 1/16-inch thickness with a rolling pin. Using a knife, cut noodles to linguine or fettuccini width, and cut any noodles longer than a foot in length in half.

                Cook 2-3 minutes in boiling water, until tender and drain immediately. Set aside.

                  Combine all the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk together until well-mixed.

                    Divide cooked noodles, vegetables and chickpeas into four bowls and top with dressing, scallions, chiles, peanuts, cilantro and mint. Toss gently until well-combined and serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

                      by

                      Recipe Notes

                      After roasting my squash until tender for 20 minutes, I shut off the oven and let it sit. This caused it to caramelize and enhanced its sweetness, which played beautifully off the salty and sour dressing, and heat of the chiles.

                      When making the dressing, taste it after six tablespoons of lime juice to determine whether more is needed. I found the juiciness of limes varied so measuring the juice rather than saying exactly 4 limes are needed will ensure the citrus doesn't overpower the other ingredients. The lime juice should be noticeable but not dominant.

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