This past month we’ve been trying something new – Bikram yoga. Two or three times a week we voluntarily put ourselves in a very hot room and twist ourselves into postures that leave us unbelievably sore, with a tendency to sleep ten hours a night (not that we generally get to). The drawback (for those of us obsessed with food) is that you can’t come home after nine hours of work and 90 minutes of hot yoga and expect to have time or digestive power for an exciting, complex or heavy dinner. Or alcohol. As a result, we’ve been expanding our repertoire of fried rices and other things that can be processed in the morning, then dumped in a hot wok and promptly inhaled alongside a pot of green tea. A few pounds have been lost, let me tell you.
This dish is a nice alternative to a straight stir fry or fried rice. I first got the idea from Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat, in which she admits her fondness for an enormous plate of buckwheat soba mixed with wilted beet greens. I don’t think I would have ever tried it, except that we often seem to have leftover beet greens in the house and I was feeling desperate one day for something besides bean soup to use them in. We discovered that we absolutely love the combination – the earthy greens with the equally earthy buckwheat noodles are amazingly good together – and we also discovered that sea scallops make a great topping. Now it’s one of our favorite quick lunches when we’ve bought beets at the farmer’s market. And it makes a great after-yoga meal: fast, fun and actually good for you!
Buckwheat soba with beet greens and scallops
- two bundles buckwheat soba
- canola oil
- one bunch beet greens, well washed and roughly chopped
- a spoonful of soy sauce
- a drizzle of rice vinegar
- 1/2 pound sea scallops, patted dry and lightly salted
Bring a large saucepan full of water to the boil; add the soba and cook until just done, about 5 minutes (check the cooking instructions on the package, they vary a lot). Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Heat a wok over the highest possible heat. Swirl some oil into the wok, then add the beet greens. Make sure nobody in the room has a cat on their lap – they tend to panic at the resulting explosion. Stirfry the greens until completely wilted, then add the noodles. Season with the soy sauce and rice vinegar, toss thoroughly, and turn off the heat.
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over med-high heat. Add the scallops and leave alone for a minute, then flip with tongs to brown the reverse side. I like my scallops a bit rare, but follow your own taste.
Pile noodles and greens on plates, top with scallops, eat.