The bright green shades of spring are becoming summer, and we are enjoying a surplus culinary greens; bok choy, spinach, arugula, leafy red and green lettuce, scallions, lovage, chives, Swiss chard and kale. Whether in a salad or sautéed, greens are a quick and nutritious addition to any meal.
More than any other hue, green is the color of life. I can’t imagine Mother Earth without green. A green planet is a healthy planet, and all of this is made possible by the green pigment chlorophyll. However, the main reason to enjoy greens is not to consume the chlorophyll, but to tap into the extraordinary bounty of phytochemicals that are packed into these foods.
Remember the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man? His extraordinary strength and powers came from spinach. The lutein contained in greens, in particular spinach, plays a crucial role in preventing blindness, tunnel vision, and heart disease. But the best reason to eat greens is that they taste good!
The recipe for Asian Noodle Salad came to me this week in my box of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) veggies from King Hill Farm. The noodles in this salad are soba noodles, Japanese pasta made from buckwheat. Delicious when eaten cold in a salad, soba noodles, sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce are found in the Asian section of the supermarket and are good pantry staples.
In our CSA newsletter, Amanda writes “tis the season for greens, embracing a local diet in Maine means eating your greens.” One taste of this addictive Asian Noodle Salad and you’ll be hooked on eating greens forever.
Asian Noodle Salad
- 8 ounces soba noodles (available in Asian section of supermarket)
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch bok choy
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
For the dressing:
- 1 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger or more
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Lightly steam the bok choy, drain and chop. In a large bowl, combine the scallions, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, freshly grated ginger and vegetable oil. Add the cooked noodles, radishes, bok choy and carrots. Toss well to mix. Garnish the top of the salad with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.