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Chilled Soba with Lemony Asparagus Sauce

There's something completely refreshing about a chilled noodle dish. I love to serve this as a side dish during an outdoor summer feast! 


1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
1 teaspoon kuzu, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
8 ounces soba noodles

After cutting asparagus into 1-inch pieces, separate the tips from the stems and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet and saute asparagus stems, with a pinch of sea salt and lemon zest, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Add milk, season to taste with salt and bring to a boil, covered, over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the skillet and stir in reserved asparagus tips. Simmer over low heat until tips are bright green, about 2 minutes. Stir in dissolved kuzu and keep stirring until sauce thickens slightly.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, while the sauce cooks. Cook soba noodles until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain rinse well. Japanese noodles are coated with salt during drying and require rinsing after cooking for the best flavor. To serve, toss noodles with asparagus sauce and serve warm, garnished with lemon wedges.

Makes 3-4 servings. 


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