Walnut Miso Noodles

Walnut Miso Noodles Recipe

The markets here are full of color right now. Gold, red, and orange beets. Pink-fleshed pomelos. Tiny purple-streaked artichokes. Deep, dark leafy greens. This week I filled my basket with my favorite eggs, a loaf of whole wheat seed bread, fresh tofu, lots of leeks and spring onions, chard with electric-pink stems, and one bunch of pencil-thin asparagus. I bought a small bouquet of sunset-colored flowers with the change in my pocket and made my way home. A few of my finds when straight into my lunch. I made a quick, creamy walnut-miso dressing and used it coat whole wheat noodles, plenty of sliced asparagus, the neon chard stems, and a few other ingredients I had within reach. I was quite hungry or I might have taken the time to top off with a poached egg or two.

Walnut Miso Noodles

The main components here are whole wheat noodles tossed in a walnut-miso dressing. To make this seasonal I added the asparagus, spring onions, and the chard leaves and stems I picked up at the market. You might revisit this later in the year and do a twist using caramelized onions, roasted squash, greens, and a bit of cheese when the weather is cold. Or roasted tomatoes, basil, peppers or whatever else you might encounter at a summer market. You might switch up the type of miso you use, or experiment with the type of toasted nuts.

Walnut Miso Noodle Recipe

You'll likely have a bit of dressing leftover. If I'm going to do to the trouble of making a special dressing, I like to have a little extra to use for the following day or two. You can toss broccoli with it. I've been doing a simple asparagus, chive, and lettuce salad with it as well.

4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or linguini (or soba)
1 small bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly (1/4-inch thick)

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons mellow white miso paste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 big pinches salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup+ warm water

Topping ideas: sliced green onions, chopped chard stems and leaves that have been cooked for a minute or two in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and salt (see photo), chopped fresh chives, toasted walnuts

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, being careful to not overcook. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the noodles, 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, blender or hand blender to puree the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and honey. 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.

Add as much or as little dressing as you like to the noodles and toss well. Arrange in two bowls or on a platter - I finished off this version topped with sliced green onions, a bit of sauteed slivered rainbow chard leaves & chopped stems, a few toasted walnuts, and some chives.

Serves 1 - 2.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • I love the colors in these photos :) I'm so happy its spring!!!!!!

    Nirvana
  • Really lovely post...your words and photos are so vivid! It's the middle of the night and I want to go shopping at a farmer's market right now. And the recipe sounds really delicious!

    The Other Tiger
  • fantastic! It's a gift to be able to capture what you have in the photographs you take. They inspire us to try your ideas for ourselves. As a matter of fact, I'm going to try this tomorrow (only because it is too late at night to try it now)

    inaodob
  • Everything I've seen here is just outright amazing. The food always sounds delicious and the photos make me want to stick a fork right into my monitor!

    chris @ tacosalad
  • I have never seen anything like Bay Area farmers' markets in spring. This is my first year living here, and I walk through these markets wide-eyed, with overflowing bags under my arm. I never had asparagus that tasted like this - nor chard! This dish would be fantastic with the walnuts I picked up at the Old Oakland market last week. Ah - so many great reasons for living in Northern California!

    Allison
  • Visiting your site never fails to excite me about what new recipe you will have thrown together next. I love that you're using Japanese ingredients and reinterpreting them Cali-style. Can't wait to try this fabulous-sounding miso-walnut dressing. Yum!

    Claudia at Weird Vegetables
  • Delicioso. I was inspired by this recipe but I didn't have all the ingredients onhand, but it was still great. I had GF brown rice spaghetti, chickpea miso, peanut butter. I added equal parts chickpea miso and peanut butter to the pan, let it melt together, added garlic, sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar and hot water. It made a nice creamy sauce. I definitely want to try it with walnut. I topped it with steamed spinach and edamame. It probably isn't as delicious and beautiful as yours but it tastes good to me! Thanks for the recipe, Hannah

    Hannah Handpainted
  • Ooh this is my favorite kind of meal (especially since I love eating out of bowls), and the walnut miso dressing sounds out of this world delicious.

    Jodye
  • Another fantastic recipe. Healthy. Simple and most importantly- Beautiful! As I don't do the wheat thing, brown rice or quinoa noodles would be a good option, though I think the nuts and miso and veggies would also be great over whole grains- a buckwheat millet mix, or maybe amaranth and brown rice. This is great!

    Making Love In The Kitchen with Meghan
  • Looking at these pictures, reading this recipe: I want nothing more than to eat this. Thank you for a beautiful website!

    Caro
  • Oh, delicious. I am definitely making this this weekend--I have been wondering what to serve a bevy of guests. This looks divine.

    Anna
  • Tasty! I hope this breaks me of my peanut noodle habit, a holdover from being a vegetarian with no kitchen skills. Can't wait to try it :)

    wix
  • mmm, this looks delicious! Partly thanks to the beautiful photo I'm sure :) Will have to try this recipe, most definitely. I love soba noodles and never thought of adding asparagus to them. sounds great.

    Katie
  • I love soba and am always looking for new ways besides the same old sesame oil-soy-rice wine combo. And even better that the base is comprised of pantry items

    meleyna
  • yum!! I've always wanted to know ways to use beautiful stems of chard... this is the first such recipe I've encountered!

    seraphine
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