I have never been a huge fan of pasta. Blasphemy, I know. It is occasionally a good vehicle for a worthy sauce, but I am ambivalent about it on it's own. I have become interested in finding alternatives for pasta and so far vegetables have done a damn good job! Spaghetti squash will be coming in a future episode, but this time I am using zucchini.
I found this interesting-looking recipe and wanted to modify it not to contain noodles. As soba are fatter noodles, I decided to slice up some zucchini and use it instead.
I sauteed julienned zucchini in sesame oil with some sesame seeds until it was slightly softened. This was one zucchini, which ended up not making a whole lot, maybe enough for 3 people as a side, so multiply as needed. Then cut up some tomatoes (I used cherry), avocado and cilantro.
For the dressing, I whisked together tahini, soy sauce, red wine vinegar (they suggest rice vinegar in the recipe but this seemed fine too), sesame oil, a little water, salt and pepper. I added a little sugar since I wasn't using the tofu cooked with sugar. The dressing seemed to need that sweet element and just adding a bit of sugar did the trick. As you know by now, I don't measure anything, and with a dressing like this, putting things in to your taste works best.
Then just stir it all up in the dressing! I am pretty impressed with this. It seems really fancy but is really easy.
My dressing ended up a bit thicker than that shown in the recipe, but I liked the flavor even thought it looks a bit less colorful and pretty than in the pro pictures.
I didn't realize what a peanutty flavor tahini has. I had to buy a gigantic can of it so I hope I find some good uses for it. This salad was a great departure from most of the flavors that I use all the time, without much of a change of ingredients. It almost has that Asian peanut sauce taste. I hope it holds up in the fridge overnight so I can have it with lunch tomorrow!
Post script: Thick dressing = bad idea. After being refrigerated overnight, the consistency was a little unappetizing. Definitely thin your dressing with more vinegar, soy or water based on your taste if it ends up looking like mine above!