somen noodles with wild garlic & pea shoot pesto

May 15, 2014 § 79 Comments


I had the day off yesterday, well actually it was a day on considering all the work I accomplished around the house.  Isn’t it satisfying when you are “on” and everything seems to fall into place?  Six loads of laundry washed and put away, tomatoes planted, front garden edged and weeded, a much needed nap and a fantastic somen noodle dinner.


It wasn’t until 5:30pm when I realized the day got away from me and I didn’t have a dinner plan.  The last grocery trip I made was a bit unorganized.  I shopped without a list or the week’s menu plan, which I love to do occasionally, but isn’t helpful at all when it’s time to put dinner together.  I was lost in  sensory overload as I walked through the market picking fresh peas, ramps, pea shoots, enoki mushrooms (because they are cute), garlic, somen noodles and Thai eggplants, which I will use later.


I decided on somen noodles with ramps and mushrooms with a pea shoot pesto.


I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1-2 bunches ramps, or 1 regular leek, halved through the root and tough greens removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 bunch of enoki mushrooms
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 bunches of somen noodles, 1 cup of cooking water reserved
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

M e t h o d

Cut the roots off the ramps and clean any dirt or old skin off the white parts of the stems. Rinse well and pat dry. Thinly slice the whites and stalks of the ramps. Shred the green leaves in a chiffonade (a style of slicing meaning to cut into long, thin ribbons). Set aside.

Put the olive oil into a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is rippling, add the white parts of the ramps. Sauté until they start to soften, then add the thyme. Cook for a minute. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté until the mushrooms have colored slightly. Add the shredded ramp leaves. Mix well and continue cooking until the ramp greens have wilted, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, stir to mix and remove pan from heat and cover. Leave it to stand while you cook the soba noodles.

Uncover the mushroom mixture and heat through over a medium-high flame. Add half the reserved soba water, ground black pepper and grated cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook just long enough to melt the cheese, which will thicken the sauce. Add the drained soba noodles. Cook, stirring, until the noodles are heated through and well coated with sauce and vegetables, for about 1 minute. Add a little more soba water if the pan looks dry or the noodles start to stick. Serve immediately with a grind of black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of pea shoot pesto.


p e a    s h o o t    p e s t o

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, pan roasted
  • 3 cups pea shoots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

M e t h o d

Place a small skillet on medium high heat and add the pumpkin seeds.  Roast until browned occasionally giving the skills a good shake.

In a food processor or blender, combine pumpkin seeds, pea shoots, parmesan and garlic. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste. With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and a little water.  Blend until well-combined and you reach your desired thickness.



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