Very fond of food: a year in recipes, 277pp.
by Sophie Dahl
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2011
Cooking on page 32
Sophie Dahl began her career as a fashion model but moved on to her true passion, writing, in the early 2000s. This is her fourth book and second cookbook. Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights, her first foray into food writing, chronicles her misadventures in the kitchen. I must try to find a copy.
This is the second recipe I’ve done by the Dahl family. Her maternal grandfather was the celebrated author, Roald Dahl. I made his Wonka’s whipple-scrumptious fudgemellow-delight last year.
As the title suggests, Sophie’s recipes reflect the bounty of the four seasons, starting with autumn. It’s autumn in Australia now and on page 32.
Soba noodle salad with rainbow vegetables and sesame dressing
9 ounces/250 g soba noodles
1/2 large daikon (about 5 ounces/150 g), cut into thin strips
1/2 small head cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
a handful of radishes, thinly sliced
1 green onion, finely shredded
1 small handful sesame seeds
For the dressing
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
Cook the soba noodles by bringing 8 cups/2 liters of water to a boil, adding the noodles, and cooking on low for 6 or so minutes. Drain and cool. When the noodles are cool, put them in the bowl you are planning to serve them in and add all of the vegetables shredding, grating and thinly slicing.
In a small frying pan, toast the sesame seeds for a minute or so. Add to the noodles. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together, adjusting according to taste, and pour over the noodles.
How it played out
This was another one of the recipes that prompted me to haul out the mandolin. As wary as I am of the darn thing, it sure makes life easier when you have to shred or julienne vegetables.
Other than using two green onions and honey over agave nectar, I followed the recipe. That said, my packet of noodles said boil for 4 minutes and that was enough to make them tender.
A yummy and healthy lunch.
At first I worried that 3 tablespoons of sesame oil—one of my all-time favourite flavours—would overpower the dish. But on tasting, both Poor John and I thought it could have done with a fourth tablespoon of oil, or even a tablespoon of chilli sauce. Daughter, Petra, thought it was perfect as is.
By the way, with 250 grams of soba noodles, there was plenty for three generous servings.
And another comment about the noodles. Given that soba noodles are about three-quarters wheat flour, you could certainly substitute plain soy for the tamari if you don’t have it on hand.
And if you’re a noodle lover, check out a treat on my travel blog.