Salads like this make for light, refreshing summer meals. They are the perfect hot weather food, served chilled or at room temperature. They are incredible easy to make and very quick: 30 minutes or less. Lots of colours and fresh vegetables make them a very balanced nutritious meal. The addition of edamame and cashews adds richness to the salad and also a good source of plant based protein.
Edamame are widely available frozen for year round use both in the pod or already shelled. In addition they are sometimes available in August and September fresh from local grocers and Farmers Markets. Either way, they are prepared the same way, cooked with a little water or steamed. I love to use them for snacks, part of school lunches, an appetizer, in my Edamame Hemp Heart Hummus or in salads such as this one.
There are many many variants on this salad bowl. The noodles could be any noodle, rice, or grain. The source of protein could be chickpeas, or lentils, or any pulse, nut or seed to replace the edamame and cashews used here. Many different combinations of vegetables would work too, raw or lightly steamed. This recipe is like a template that could be used for many different meals.
The dressing has Asian flavours and is rich and smooth from the tahini. Combined with garlic, ginger and rice vinegar along with a good dash of tamari, it is a great dressing for soba noodle salads but also makes an excellent dressing for a spinach salad or other green salads.
Soba Edamame Salad with Tahini Dressing
3 oz Soba Noodles, cooked
1 1/4 cup edamame, shelled and cooked
1 cup red cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1 cup red pepper, finely sliced
1/3 cup cashews
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 tablespoons tahini
6 tablespoon water
Prepare dressing first by putting all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour into a serving bottle and put aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Prepare all the ingredients in various bowls or prepare salad bowls individually. This is a fun meal to serve family style where you prepare all the ingredients and everyone composed their own bowl.