Buckwheat Pasta, Fennel, and Roasted Vegetable Salad

Categories: Liver Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Buckwheat Pasta, Fennel, and Roasted Vegetable Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Dressing
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp runny honey
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon zest, finely grated
1 tbsp roasted pumpkin seed oil
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Salad
2 bulbs fennel
200g dwarf leeks
250g soba (buckwheat) noodles
Extra olive oil for grilling
3-4 courgettes
1 large red onion
1 tbsp finely sliced mint
200g feta cheese, roughly crumbled

Method:
1.Preheat the grill or an oven-top grill pan. Whisk together the vinegar, honey, garlic, lemon zest, and both oils. Season and set aside.
2.Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Trim the fennel and cut in half from top to bottom so that you slice through the root base. Discard the outer layer before washing, and then slice each half into thick slices. Drop into the pan of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes or until al dente, then remove, cool under cold water and pat dry.
3.Trim and wash the leeks and drop them in the same boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes, remove, cool under cold water and pat dry. Drop the noodles in the same boiling water and cook for 9 minutes or until just done. Drain well then put in a large bowl and mix in half the dressing.
4.While the noodles are cooking, begin grilling the vegetables. Toss the cooked fennel in a little olive oil, season and grill or griddle until flecked gold on both sides – about 5 minutes in all. Repeat the process with the leeks, but cut them into diamonds once grilled.
5.Meanwhile, top and tail the courgettes and cut lengthways into medium thin slices. Lightly mix in olive oil, season and grill or griddle on both sides until just cooked. Remove and cut into diamonds.
6.Slice the onion into medium thick rounds and grill in the same way until soft and flecked brown.
7.Rewhisk the remaining vinaigrette and pour over the vegetables. Add the mint and mix thoroughly. Leave to marinate for a few minutes before mixing into the noodles. Finally, add the crumbled feta cheese and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

TCM Summary: Overall, this recipe can be used to circulate stagnant Liver Qi with some of the acrid, warm flavors, while still able to clear some heat that the stagnant Qi can accumulate. This recipe also addresses strengthening the stomach to promote digestion in cases of Lv over acting on Sp/St. This recipe also benefits diabetics, as well as cases of hypertension due to stress by lowering blood pressure.