This wholesome and refreshing dish is exactly what I needed after roadtrippin’ to the North a few weeks ago.
I have a love/hate relationship with traveling.
I discovered this in my early twenties when I landed a job in the music industry working as an editorial assistant for a publishing company that issued a handful of music magazines. Within the first year, I went from hardly escaping my small Canadian hometown to jetting through the US from NYC to San Fran. I felt so alive in these new places! Well, for the first day or two. But with transient travel comes cramming too many things into a small timeframe and that, my friends, siphons the life out of me.
With my husband and I living in NC and our families being dispersed between PA and Canada, this is a regular part of life now: overwhelming short-lived trips full of company, a lot of energy, and a mass amount of food. (Gotta mow down enough of those hometown faves while we’re there and while we can.)
To say that I needed this healthful protein-packed plate of goodness when I got home would be an understatement. I’ve eaten this three times in the last week and a half.
There are very few things in life that are better on a hot day than a cool serving of zaru soba.
This recipe brings me to the last installment of the Japan segment of my East Series (What!) which is pretty damn exciting. The next segment I’ll be featuring is China, where I’ll be exploring some delish Chinese recipes.
But first, let’s talk about this nourishing noodle dish.
A lot of East and Southeast asian dishes call it like it is when it comes to names, and Zaru Soba is no exception. A zaru is a bamboo tray or basket used to drain the noodles in the preparation and presentation for this dish; soba, of course, is the type of noodle. Soba translates to buckwheat, but it’s most commonly used in reference to soba noodles in Western cultures.
Despite the fact that most mainstream supermarkets carry soba noodles in their “International” aisle, I highly recommend hitting up your local Asian markets instead. You’ll get the best quality of soba noodle there, and if you can get your hands one soba noodles that are 80 per cent buckwheat (hachiwari soba), do it. Not only are these noodles more delicious, but they also pack a nourishing punch.
Here I am, at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, sipping at a hefty glass of Pinot Noir while trying to shake off the last few days. Not that this is strange for me; I come from a home where 4 p.m. is better known as wine o’clock. It’s that time between a long day and a night of who knows what to decompress, loosen up, and reset. But for the past few days it’s been an excuse to numb the pain, because I don’t think there is any “resetting” after putting your beloved pet down — and much too soon, no thanks to a sudden seizure and an undetected heart condition.
I was not prepared for that.
I’m gutted, heartbroken, and trying to keep myself distracted with this *lifts laptop* and this *lifts wine glass*.
Work and wine. Wine and work.
(Don’t worry, I’m a lightweight. I’m good after two glasses.)
I know that grieving takes time, and I have to allow myself that time. But I have a personal rule in life: after two-three days of letting myself be a useless pile of ice-cream eating sadness, I must bounce back; I HAVE to bounce back.
And the past two days have been hella productive as a result.
I’m as excited for warm weather as everyone else, and this dish reflects my enthusiasm for spring, fresh farmer’s market produce, and eating your feelings with things that aren’t ice cream.
Hello; I am in love. I’d normally drop a joke about this tasty salad demystifying the belief that you “can’t make friends with salad”, but that joke has run its course — especially on this blog. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it in several salad posts, actually. I need a new line; I am just too predictable.
This salad, however, is anything but predictable.
This bowl of goodness is a dream for anyone that harbors a strong love and appreciation for earthy beets. These ruby gems are shredded, then tossed in a citrusy vinaigrette along with creamy chunks of avocado, carrots, edamame, hearty quinoa, and toasty pepitas.
Over the weekend, we hosted dinner for our recently engaged friends. Since I take great joy in hosting and feeding the ones I love, I always want something to be a colorful show-stopper. It’s similar to how Michael Scott from The Office treats the annual ‘Secret Santa’ — “I love you this many dollars worth”; only for me, it’s more along the lines of “I love you this much efforts worth”.
It’s not that this salad is a hassle per se, but between preparing hors d’oeuvres, a veg side and parchment fish packets, grating beets was the last thing I wanted to do. But it was oh-so-worth it. It’s also definitely worth mentioning that the leftovers are fantabulous.
Romanesco is a peculiar yet glorious thing. If you’ve never seen it before, you’re probably thinking this is some sort of sci-fi shit. You might even be expecting me to claim that I hail from one of those seven planets that were recently discovered, and that this is the broccoli of my people — but no. I’m not that interesting. The good news is that these edible fractals are from planet earth.
It’s a shame I had to destroy it.
With a ravishing veg like this, you want to be able to put it to good use and make somewhat of a statement with it; you want a recipe to revolve around it. Sadly, there’s nothing too fancy about it when it comes to cooking. Much like broccoli and cauliflower, you can eat it raw, steam it, fry it or roast it.
So I made a super lush and springy salad out of it.