Thursday’s Dish: Asian Pasta Salad with Kale

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote an entry on cooking greens (mustard, collard, etc.). In it, I mentioned a pasta salad recipe I was working on and said it was a work in progress. Well, I haven’t been working on it for a year, but a year later, I have a recipe I like. It’s tasty and healthy and good for summer eating.

The kale and edamame can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. This salad tastes best after being refrigerated for at least two hours and up to overnight, allowing the flavors to meld.

I hope you enjoy it!

Asian Pasta Salad with Kale

1 box (1 pound) large-shape pasta (I used Barilla Penne)

2 tablespoons extra light olive oil or canola oil

1 bunch kale

1 cup shelled edamame, frozen

1 pound tofu (firm or extra firm)

1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced

3 green onions, sliced thinly (all of  white and half of green)

Dressing:

1 piece (3 inches) ginger, finely grated
Advertisement2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 lime, juiced

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

Crushed red pepper (optional)

Prepare pasta according to package. Drain and toss with olive oil; set aside. Set a pot of water on to boil for the kale (about 4-6 cups water and 1/2-1 tablespoon salt). To prepare kale, wash leaves thoroughly, then pull or cut out center stem. Roll up leaves and slice them. Turn down heat and simmer kale in water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and then squeeze out excess water. Add to pasta and toss. Boil about 2 cups water with 1 teaspoon salt for edamame; add to boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain well and add to pasta and toss.

Prepare dressing by whisking together all ingredients. Crumble tofu over pasta, add basil and green onions, then pour dressing over all and toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Taste again before serving, as the pasta and tofu soak up a lot of dressing. You might want to add a little more soy sauce and lime juice just before serving to punch up the flavor.

Other fresh herbs that would be good in this are cilantro, mint or both. I would choose either cilantro or basil, though, not both, since they’re such strong flavors.

Written by: Shannon Oelrich

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