The pesto is adapted from a favorite Ming Tsai recipe – it skips the garlic and cheese, adds jalapeno and ginger, and complements the basil with cilantro and mint. It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of green. Here I’ve mixed it with soba noodles, edamame, raw carrot “noodles,” and red pepper, but other vegetables would not be out of place either. It’s a flexible recipe, just right for reminding ourselves that eating vegetables can be delicious, even in the middle of winter.
Soba Noodles with Asian Pesto
- 1/3 c. canola oil
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed and pepper cut into chunks (remove seeds if you don’t like much heat)
- 1 1/4 c. salted and roasted cashews, divided
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 c. fresh basil leaves
- 1 c. fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/3 c. mint leaves
- 1 TBS honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz. soba noodles
- 1 c. frozen shelled edamame
- 2 carrots, cut into “noodles” using a julienne peeler or spiralizer
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- Make the pesto: add 1 TBS of the canola oil, the jalapeno, 1 cup of the cashews, and the ginger to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the orange juice, basil, cilantro, mint and honey, and begin processing, slowly drizzling in the rest of the canola oil until a smooth consistency is reached. Stop the processor and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. 2 minutes before they are done, add the edamame to the boiling water. Drain and set the noodles and edamame aside. Roughly chop the remaining 1/4 cup of cashews. Toss the noodles with 1 cup of the pesto, the carrot “noodles,” the chopped cashews, and the chopped red bell pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve room temperature or chilled.