The first greens of the season are some of my favorites. (I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again!) Another thing I like about the first greens, is they often reappear at the beginning of the fall from second plantings. It’s a nice marker of time, bright greens to mark the beginning of each season. Mustard greens are really easy to cook, they have a somewhat bitter flavor that can be mellowed with vinegar, citrus, salt, or the rich tasting miso we use here. Miso is a more expensive ingredient, but we use it often in the farm kitchen and I’m sure you will too. A little goes a long way! Make a quick soup or flavorful dip with it. It’s a good investment with a long shelf life. I picked this up at Greenstar Co-op in Ithaca, and you can even buy miso in bulk there. My favorite is mellow white, which is also gluten free. If gluten is an issue, always check the label.
This is a quick and easy recipe, that’s perfectly weeknight friendly. As the recipe is written it’s completely vegan, but you can toss in grilled sliced pork or chicken if you like. Vegetarians can add smoked tofu or tempeh. Or just enjoy it as is for a light meal or snack.
Have you ever made noodles that just stick together and don’t absorb the dressing? Rinse the soba noodles in a bowl of cold water to get rid of the starch and keep them from sticking together. While you rinse the noodles, blanch the greens in the cooking water. You don’t have to shock them in ice water, unless you prefer to do it that way. Toss with the dressing and serve.
Mustard Greens & Soba Noodles in Miso Dressing
8 oz soba noodles (for a gluten free alternative try rice noodles, and rinse them as you would the soba)
1 bunch mustard greens
1/3 cup neutral tasting oil like canola (I like the coconut/canola blend)
juice from half a lime
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce (GF if necessary)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Wash and chop the mustard greens. Remove the lower stems if desired, rinse thoroughly, and chop into bite size pieces.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. While the water is boiling mix the dressing ingredients together. If the miso doesn’t combine right away just let it sit for a bit, it should come together by the time the noodles are ready.
Cook the noodles according to package directions, be careful not to overcook.
Fill a large bowl with cold water. When the noodles are ready use a mesh strainer or slotted spoon to transfer the noodles to the bowl. Keep water boiling on the stove, and add mustard greens. Cook greens for 1 minute and then drain. Swish the noodles around with your hands to remove the starch.
Transfer the noodles and greens back to the pan, and toss with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired with lime or tamari. Serve warm or chilled.