Buckwheat Noodle Salad with Greens and Walnuts

Buckwheat Noodle Salad with Greens and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or light-colored honey
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon very finely minced or grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt – or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese-style toasted sesame oil
  • 4 ounces uncooked Japanese-style buckwheat noodles
  • 8 ounces of any combination of very fresh spinach, watercress, arugula, frisée or other spunky salad greens —washed, dried thoroughly
  • 4 or 5 lovely, crisp, fresh radishes, in thin slices
  • 1 medium carrot (choose a sweet one!), coarsely grated
  • 1 or 2 scallions, finely minced (whites and as much of the green parts as feasible)
  • 1/2 cup chopped California walnuts, lightly toasted
  • Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the agave nectar (or honey) in a medium-small bowl. Add the vinegar and soy sauce, and stir until the honey dissolves. Stir in the garlic and salt. Whisk steadily while you drizzle in the oils to make a vinaigrette. Set aside, leaving the whisk handy.
  2. Put up a potful of water to boil. When it boils, add the noodles and cook until tender (about 4 minutes) but still al dente. (Check the package instructions and cook slightly less than indicated.)
  3. When the noodles are done, drain them and rinse them in cold water. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Add the salad greens, radishes, carrot, and scallion, along with vinaigrette (whisk it from the bottom one more time before adding) and toss until everything is evenly dressed.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled, topped with walnuts and with chili flakes, if desired.