By Veronica Chan
Fluctuating temperatures and unexpected bouts of winter precipitation has made for a slow start for the Spring season here in New York. My mounting anticipation for temperate weather, winter coat-free wardrobes, and light spring meals served as inspiration for dinner last night. My friend Ellen, a devout vegetarian and healthful cook, came over to help prepare a walnut miso noodle recipe that I found on 101cookbooks.com. Packed with umami, the miso harmoniously blended with the garlic and walnuts to create a flavorful, creamy dressing for the soba noodles. The dressing also can double as a veggie dip; Ellen used it as dip for extra slices of cucumber we had left over. Paired with a warm cup of Genmaicha Tea (Japanese matcha green tea with brown rice), we sat on the couch and enjoyed our TV dinner.
This recipe is based off of 101cookbooks.com, but revised with the ingredients I used. To refer to the original recipe, please visit http://101cookbooks.com.
4 ounces soba
1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly (1/4-inch thick)
1 handful of swiss chard
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons white rice vinegar
2 teaspoons agave
2 big pinches salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup+ warm water
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water generously and cook soba. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the soba, add the asparagus to the pot. Now drain and toss with about 1/2 the walnut-miso dressing – you can make the dressing as you’re waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil. To make the dressing, use a food processor to puree the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and agave. Add the warm water a bit at a time until the dressing is the consistency of a heavy cream. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it. A tablespoon or two of sesame seeds would have been a good addition to the dressing.
Finely dice the stem of the swiss chard and cut up the leafy parts and saute in pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Slice or julienne the cucumber to your liking and chop up the scallion.
Add dressing to the noodles, throw toppings on and toss well.
Serves 1 – 2.