buckwheat soba noodles with dandelion greens pesto

over the past few weeks i’ve been experimenting more with buckwheat flour, baking with it alone, and also combining it with other flours.  i’ve come to appreciate its curious taste and its grainy texture.   therefore, when i went to pick out soba noodles i naturally went with the buckwheat ones.  i debated whether to prepare them in a more traditional way and pair them ingredients i usually see: tofu, scallions, sesame seeds and oil, tamari, or in a yummy broth.  i had my menu all planned out with a lot of the ingredients noted above.  but i also wanted to see how the noodles would hold up in a traditionally italian dish, using a pesto sauce.  i had been making note of the greens at my local farmer’s market and had been seeing a lot dandelion greens.  as we all know, there is an abundance of dandelion flowers in the spring (at least here in new york), so i thought it only natural to use what was in season and make dandelion greens pesto.

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*i left cheese out of my pesto.  however, pecorino-romano, or reggiano will work with the dandelion greens.

// dandelion greens pesto

1 package buchwheat soba noodles

1 bundle dandelion greens, stems removed and blanched

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

1/3 cup unsalted raw pistachios, toasted (plus more for garnishing)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

sea salt + pepper

soba

// for the salad

2-3 cups arugula

1 cup pea shoots

1/2 watercress (i had the pea shoots + watercress on hand, but you can use whatever greens you want, or just use more arugula)

1 tablespoon unsalted raw pistachios, toasted (likewise, you can also use roasted and salted pistachios)

2 tablespoons pesto vinaigrette

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in a medium saucepan bring about 4 cups of water to a boil.  while water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath.  when water comes to a boil add the greens.  blanch for 20 seconds.  transfer the greens to the ice bath, let soak for a couple seconds.  remove the greens while squeezing out water from them.  let them dry on a kitchen towel

while the greens are drying, toast the pistachio nuts ( if you’re using dry roasted pistachios, there is no need to toast them).  let them cool

in a food processor or blender, combine the dandelion greens, chopped garlic, toasted pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, and salt +pepper.  blend, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  you may want to add more olive oil depending on how you prefer your pesto

transfer the pesto to a bowl. cover and let it sit in the refrigerator while you cook the soba noodles.  cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, reserving about a 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  drain the noodles.  transfer to a large bowl.  add about 1/2 the pesto and a 1/4 of the reserved water to the bowl and stir to combine.  add more according to your preference.  season with salt + pepper, and garnish with extra pistachios.  you can leave the dish like this, or you can put it over greens

mix salad greens together in a separate bowl, toss with pistachios and pesto vinaigrette.  add the soba noodles to the salad and enjoy

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24 thoughts on “buckwheat soba noodles with dandelion greens pesto

  1. Um wow, Linz! This sounds delicious! What’s also promising is the kitchen probably won’t look like a bomb went off in there like when I make the black rice/quinoa bowl. 🙂 I am going to scope out the farmers market for dandelion greens. Fingers crossed!

  2. Wow. This looks amazing. I adore dandelion greens but I haven’t tried them in pesto yet. I’ll go to the market and see if I can get some on Saturday. I’ll definitely be setting a bunch aside for pesto!

  3. I am really intrigued by your dandelion pesto – here in Italy dandelion greens are usually eaten stirfried with a bit of olive oil, garlic and chili which I adore but I have not yet had the chance to eat dandelion greens raw.

    And I hear you on the buckwheat – my first buckwheat experiment (other than in soba noodles) was porridge made with buckwheat flakes which I found vile. But now that I started baking with buckwheat flour and making a raw buckwheat porridge using buckwheat groats, I am looking at buckwheat in a whole different way – it is so nutty and flavourful!

    • i was debating sautéing the greens with garlic and olive oil, and throwing a poached egg on top. but i really wanted to try out the buckwheat noodles. i have seen dandelion pesto on various occasions, and was intrigued to make it. i agree, buckwheat is fast becoming an ingredient i can’t get enough of! i’ll have to try the groats soon.

  4. I have yet to try using dandelion greens in my cooking (other than salads, of course) despite having lived in NY for nearly 3 years now. I’ll have to give this a try once the spring greens start to show up here in the subarctic part of the state 🙂

    • i’ve been to about 3 different green markets around my neighborhood in brooklyn. they all had dandelion greens. you may want to try union square green market, they should definitely have them 🙂 i know, we’re starting to thaw down here…slowly, but surely.

  5. Pingback: Friday Five! | .the rebel grrrl kitchen.

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