Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So Good Soba Shrimp Salad

With an abundance of color, flavor and texture, this cold main dish salad receives rave reviews every time I serve it. And because the shrimp can be steamed, the dressing assembled and the noodles cooked ahead of time, it's the perfect dish for entertaining!*

So Good Soba Shrimp Salad
Sliced French or Ciabatta Bread

Helpful to know: Soba noodles are native Japanese pasta made of buckwheat flour (soba-ko) and wheat flour (komugi-ko). Because buckwheat doesn't bind well, it is often combined with wheat flour or wild yam (jinenjo); but in order to be officially classified as Soba, the noodles must contain at least 30% buckwheat. Some believe the higher the buckwheat content, the better/tastier the noodles. There are several variations of soba noodles but my preference is Eden Foods Wild Yam Soba which can be found in most health-oriented grocery stores nationwide.

If noodles stick together after cooking, toss with olive oil. I prefer serving the pasta separate from the So Good Toppings as the topping ingredients are heavy and tend to sink beneath the noodles. My preference for feta is Valbreso French Feta Cheese (PKT Product Resource List, page __) which can be found in most grocery stores nationwide.

If you haven't prepared anything in advance begin with …


1½ pounds jumbo shrimp, steamed, peeled and deveined

While the shrimp is steaming …

So Good Dressing

2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ cups extra virgin olive oil

In a 3-4 cup capacity jar with a tight fitting lid, combine salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. Cover and shake mixture vigorously. Add olive oil, cover and shake until incorporated. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. Shake dressing just before tossing noodles and toppings.

Soba Noodles

Two 8.8-ounce packages soba noodles, broken in half

Cook according to package directions. Cool to room temperature.

While the noodles are cooking …

So Good Toppings

1½ pounds steamed jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup yellow pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup orange pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
½ cup green onions, sliced

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

In a large bowl, combine shrimp, peas, yellow pepper, orange pepper, artichoke hearts, olives and green onions. Toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat toppings; transfer to a serving platter. Top with crumbled feta cheese and cherry tomatoes.

Toss room temperature soba noodles with the remaining dressing or just enough to evenly coat the pasta. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl.

* If you've steamed the shrimp, prepared the dressing and cooked the noodles ahead of time, simply start with the So Good Toppings then let the entertaining begin! Yield: 10-12 servings.