Coriander Pesto with Soba Noodles

This is one of my favourite recipes to have when I am feeling a bit sluggish and crave some carbs (usually on Monday after the weekend or on a Thursday before I head to orchestra). It is also very simple to prepare and rich in flavour.

Soba noodles are native Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour. Buckwheat flour, despite the name, is not actually made from wheat. They are roughly as thick as spaghetti, and they are prepared in a variety of hot and cold dishes.

Nutritionally buckwheat provides vitamins B1 and B2, several minerals, and nearly twice the amount of proteins found in rice. Rutin, a kind of bioflavonoid that includes the catechins of green tea and the polyphenols of red wine, which is not found in other grains or beans, is contained in great quantity in buckwheat. 

The soba noodles you can normally find in the supermarket
This coriander pesto does not have any parmesan cheese, instead you use nuts combined with olive oil to provide the creaminess. The anchovies can be substituted with 1 sheet of nori (seaweed) shredded and soaked in water for a  few minutes or 1 more tbsp of organic tamari (strong gluten free soy sauce) or organic shoyu (normal Japanese soy sauce).

The leftovers are great to take to work for lunch the next day as well!

What you need to serve four lucky people:
  • two bunches fresh coriander, roots removed and chopped including the stems
  • 1 bunch asparagus, wooden ends removed, cut into thirds and then halved length ways
  • 250g snow peas, trimmed
  • 4 anchovies - optional to make vegetarian replace anchovies with  nori or an extra 1 tbsp of shoyu.
  • 1 cup roasted macadamia or cashew nuts*
  • 1 small red chillies, chopped - or 1/2 tbs chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari or shoyu
  • 1 packet uncooked soba noodles
How to cook it:
  • Place the coriander, nuts, anchovies, tamari, lime juice, chili, olive oil and garlic in a processor and process until blended into a paste, season with some pepper.
  • Cook the soba noodles as per packet directions - about 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a wok or frying pan.
  • Toss the red onion and asparagus constantly on a medium-high heat until the onion is soft and the vegetables are bright green (about 1-2 minutes), add the pesto to coat the vegetables. Take off the heat.
  • Drain the soba noodles once just cooked and rinse thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Add the soba noodles to the pan - mix to combine the noodles and pesto.
  • Divide among 4 plates or bowls and serve with chopsticks.
  • Yum!
Make it naughty: sprinkle 1 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan to each plate just prior to serving.

* Note to roast raw nuts, preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius and roast for approximately 5-10 minutes, checking them every couple of minutes so that they don't burn. They should be a caramel colour on the inside.