Fall is officially in full swing. As I was driving to the grocery store today, I noticed that the leaves on the trees had already begun to change. When I got to said grocery store, there was a huge bin full of on-sale pumpkins outside the entrance, bags of Halloween candy on display by the cash registers, and a big rack of Frozen costumes being combed over by a couple of first-graders.
With all of that imagery in mind, I fully acknowledge that it may seem strange to post a recipe for such a summery noodle salad. But despite the fact that I’ve officially transitioned from pajama shorts to pajama pants, and that my beloved plaid button-downs are now once-again weather appropriate, remnants of summer still remain!
Where, you ask? In my parents’ garden.
Our hardy tomato, cucumber, and pepper plants have been dutifully producing for a couple months now, and they’re not showing any signs of stopping yet. Just last week, I was at my parents’ house, and my mother was practically shoving bags of yellow tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers at me as I walked out the door on Sunday.
We also have a ton of herbs––we went a little crazy with the kitchen garden this year, basically replacing all of our flowerbeds with herb plants––including fresh basil, scallions, and cilantro.
So with all that summery produce, there was but one thing left to do. It was time for a last-hurrah-of-summer kind of dish––a true celebration of the color and vibrancy of a backyard vegetable garden. This rainbow noodle salad is more about the veggies than the noodles, and it’s all held together by a really awesome fruity dressing made with ginger, soy sauce, and one of my favorite new ingredients––coconut water.
The folks over at ZICO were nice enough to send us some of their new chilled coconut water + pineapple mango juice blend. It lends great sweetness to the vinaigrette here, balancing out the salty bite of the soy sauce, and the spicy ginger and chili. And it has about 1/3 of the calories and sugar of regular juice.
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients—olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, juice blend, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt. Set aside.
Cook the soba according to the package directions, and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Toss together all the noodles, vegetables, herbs, and dressing.
Serve your Rainbow Noodle Salad family style!