Recipe provided by Cornersmith
This recipe is another staple on our cafe menu. We give this noodle salad a Cornersmith twist by adding lots of pickled stems (broccoli, broccolini, cauliflower) that would otherwise end up in the compost. You could also use the quick pickling recipe below to use up any vegetables that need eating at the end of the week. Carrots, radish and fennel work well, but just use whatever you have on hand. Add a protein of your choice to make this salad a complete meal.
½ bunch broccolini
1 small Lebanese (short) cucumber
100 g (3½ oz) slice of jap or kent pumpkin (winter squash)
200–220 g (7–8 oz) dried soba noodles
1.5 cm (5/8 inch) knob of fresh ginger, cut into very fine julienne strips
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (see page 206)
1 large handful of picked coriander (cilantro) sprigs
2–3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) vegetable pickling liquid (from below)
+ Quick Pickling Liquid
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) apple cider vinegar
3½ tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) very hot water
Cut off and reserve the broccolini stems, leaving about 6 cm (2½ inches) still attached. Pick the broccolini tops into small florets. Using a mandoline, very thinly slice the broccolini stems, then thinly slice the cucumber and pumpkin. Place each sliced vegetable in a separate non-reactive container.
In a small bowl, mix together all the pickling liquid ingredients, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid over each of the vegetables. Cover and leave to sit for at least 20 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
Near serving time, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the soba noodles and cook for 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a colander, then refresh under cold running water until they feel silky. Drain again.
Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl. Add the pickled vegetables, reserving the pickling liquid. Add the ginger strips, chilli flakes, half the sesame seeds and half the coriander and gently mix together.
Now add the sesame oil and soy sauce, if using, along with 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) of the reserved pickling liquid. Season with salt if required.
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining sesame seeds and coriander and serve.
Be adventurous and try doing a quick pickle with other vegetables such as cabbage, bok choy (pak choy) or wombok (Chinese cabbage).
This recipe and more delicious recipes from Cornersmith can be found at: Cornersmith Salad and Pickles by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler.