So, here it is, hot again. Too hot to turn on the oven, or even to spend any real time in the kitchen. Below are recipes for two pasta-based salads that can serve as an entree or a side dish. The pasta or noodles can be cooked ahead of time (maybe in the morning when it’s not as hot out) and set aside until dinner-time. Both salads feature garlic scapes, which have been abundant in recent weeks.
I recommend looking to local produce to round out the meal. Pictured above are some quick-pickled kirby cucumbers from my CSA share. Tomatoes cut in to wedges and drizzled with olive oil and sliced basil are great too.
RECIPE #1: COLD SOBA NOODLES
1 package buckwheat soba noodles
5-6 leaves of lacinato/dinasaur kale
one garlic scape
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
Cook the noodles (which can be found in most grocery stores in the “International” section) until they are al dente, about 5-7 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, cut the kale in to small ribbons, chop the garlic scape and grate the carrots. The vegetables can be sauteed quickly in sesame oil,or just added raw to the noodles immediately after they are dumped in to the colander. Tossing the vegetables with the hot noodles like this will soften the vegetables just enough. Rinse in cold water until the noodles are no longer warm. Add the rest of the ingredients, toss and serve.
RECIPE #2: RICOTTA- ZUCCHINI PASTA SALAD
1/2 pound orzo (rice shaped pasta)
1/2 cup ricotta
2 medium sized zucchini, sliced
several sprigs of fresh thyme
1 garlic scape, sliced into small rounds
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the orzo, drain and rinse until no longer warm. While the pasta is cooking, saute the zucchini, cut in to triangle slices, along with the thyme (just pulled off the stem) and the garlic scape, cut in to small slices. Allow that to cool as well and then toss the vegetables together with the pasta and the ricotta. This pasta salad is also good served slightly warm, but it’s great cold.