Served chilled or room temperature, this Asian-inspired noodle salad packs well for picnics as a light, healthy alternative to high-fat mayonnaise pasta
Served chilled or room temperature, this Asian-inspired noodle salad packs well for picnics as a light, healthy alternative to high-fat mayonnaise pasta salads. It s easily customizable for children and other picky eaters as well. NASHOBA VALLEY VOICE/DIANNE BORDONARO

Served chilled or room temperature, this Asian-inspired noodle salad packs well for picnics as a light, healthy alternative to high-fat mayonnaise pasta salads. Japanese Soba noodles, made from buckwheat give a subtle nutty flavor, combine with colorful, crunchy vegetables for a flavorful summertime salad. Extra-virgin olive oil, with it's high level of nutrients, substitutes for more commonly used sesame oil.

Garnish with fresh parsley and crushed peanuts, and finish with a ginger-soy dressing. Customize by adjusting spicy red pepper flakes to your taste, or omit for children. Add sliced grilled chicken breast or grilled tofu for lean protein.

SOBA NOODLE SALAD with SOY-GINGER DRESSING

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

9.5 oz. Soba noodles (available in gluten-free, be sure to read package)

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

1/2 cup sliced on diagonal snap peas

1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions) on diagonal, white and light green part

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 Tbsp crushed unsalted roasted peanuts

1/4 to 1/2 Tsp crush red pepper flakes (optional)

Dressing:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 Tsp minced ginger root

PREPARATION

Prepare dressing -- whisk ingredients together until emulsified; set aside.

Rinse and prep all vegetables.


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Prepare soba noodles according to package but do not cook for more than 4 minutes, drain and immediately rinse with ice cold water; drain and place onto a paper towel-lined colander.

Transfer noodles to a large bowl, add cabbage, snap peas, carrots, green onions and gently combine. Add the dressing right before serving, gently toss to combine. Top each serving with parsley, crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.