Simple soba slaw salad

You know the term “anthropomorphism”? Akin to personification, it’s a literary term derived from the Greek anthropos (“human”) and morphe (“form”), and it’s used to refer to the attribution of human physical or mental features to  anything other than a human being. I was thinking idly about it the other day, wondering if it’s roots were more culturally sophisticated, or acknowledgement of human habit. Because for as long as I can remember, I’ve tended to project emotions and character traits onto inanimate objects, as well as other species. Don’t we all? Is it a weird form of narcissism, intuition (when it comes to other animals anyway), or a human craving for connection? I don’t know. I’m curious. Anyway, as a child I mostly viewed things around me with empathy, or at least my interpretations were friendly. The toilet however…somehow it was menacing… For longer than I care to admit I had this idea that by the time the toilet flush reached it’s low, resonant boom I had to be as far away as I could get, preferably with my feet off the floor.

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Of course there is really no reason to have shared all that, except that lately I’ve noticed a sort of reflexive  sympathy for certain grocery store items that seem sad or neglected. Like, those packages of pre-washed, shredded cabbage or iceberg lettuce, almost always on special. More often than not, they’re watery and browning, and homely. I feel sorry for them, but not enough to buy them. 

Wilting, pale shreds aren’t the most appealing thing; and I’m not typically into buying pre-cut produce. The cutting and peeling in addition to travel and shelf time can add up to a hefty loss of nutrients. On the other hand, sometimes handily pre-cut/pre-washes/pre-anything vegetables are nothing short of a godsend. And admittedly, those some times are more often times now that there’s a baby in the house.

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Which brings me to broccoli slaw. What a powerhouse of crunch, color, and character to add to a salad or stir-fry! What a major pain to make yourself on limited time. This is something I will go for when I spot it on sale, and when I do, I’m going to use at least a part of the package for this super and simple salad, based on a recipe from Giada de laurentis.

It would seem to contradict itself it weren’t so harmonious a dish. Light, yet filling; bursting with flavor, yet subtle. There’s such nice balance between the hearty, chewy soba noodles, the cool, crisp vegetables, the touch of ginger and smooth nut butter. Add to that, it took about 5 minutes to make, plus a fraction more if you add in total time the noodles bubbled in the pot requiring no attention. While they’re cooking, chop cucumber and pepper, whisk sauce. Open a bag. Strain noodles, toss everything together and admire your party in a bowl. Happy salad.

Soba slaw salad

  • 8 ounces dried buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • liberal dash ground ginger
  • 1 10-ounce pack prepared broccoli slaw
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Cook noodles according to packet directions. Rinse in cold water, drain and place in a serving bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing: combine almond butter, soy sauce or Bragg’s,  sesame oil, lime juice, honey, water and ginger and blend or mix with a whisk or fork until smooth.
  3. Pour dressing over noodles. Add slaw and remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

 

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