I knew the day would come when I would have plenty of tomatoes. If I was ever worried about not getting my fill of ripe tomatoes this summer, my cherry tomato plants have been sure to put me at ease. I can’t complain about the steady output from the two plants. In fact, I am particularly pleased that the plump orbs keep well on the counter, several days after being picked. They are easy to share with friends and family, and they just keep coming.
Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes are wonderful for snacking, but I do love me a cooked tomato, warm and burst open at the seams. Don’t you? Roasted cherry tomatoes serve as the topping for this delicious soba noodle dish, a recipe I picked from Blue Apron. I only used the Blue Apron delivery service once so far, but I’m on the mailing list, and I saw this recipe in July. It seemed unusual to use tomatoes in a Japanese-inspired preparation. It intrigued me. Fortunately, my red miso stood ready (in place of the original recipe’s “hatcho miso”). In addition, I happen to have allowed myself to supplement my stock of CSA vegetables with the purchase a beautiful, leafy head of broccoli from a farm stand on my way home from a North Fork winery event over the weekend.
A portion of this broccoli took the place of what would have been Chinese broccoli. I even used some of the stems, peeled to remove the tough outer portion, and chopped. I keep reading that broccoli stems can be delicious, and I shudder to think of the dozens of giant broccoli stalks I’ve sent to the garbage in my day!
Even with a few modifications, the meal came out great. I wished I had made twice as much. It’s definitely a keeper!
Miso Soba Noodles with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Adapted from Blue Apron
6 ounces Broccoli of any type, including leaves, finely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced and whites and greens separated
about half a small white onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons red miso paste
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3/4 Cup water, divided
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root
A few springs of cilantro
1 large clove garlic
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons sesame oil (toasted is fine)
2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts
2 Tablespoons sugar
5 ounces cherry tomatoes
8 ounces soba noodles
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
Wash the produce, chop, and set aside. The ginger root should be peeled and minced. The cilantro leaves can be picked from the stems, roughly chopped, and set in a bowl. Half will be added in the cooking process, and half will be saved for garnish.
Another topping will be candied chopped peanuts (cashews are preferred, if you have them).
To prepare, set a small pot with the sugar and 1/4 Cup of water over medium-high heat. Also prepare a small pan lined with a little bit of parchment paper. Allow the water-sugar mixture to boil, without stirring, for several minutes, until the color starts to change into a golden blonde. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped peanuts.
Then pour the mixture onto the parchment paper. Spread evenly and allow to cool.
Here’s where it gets exciting (for the person washing dishes)! For the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 450°F. For the soba noodles, fill a medium pot with water and set over heat to boil. Grab a large sauté pan for the vegetables.
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and ½ Cup of water, until smooth.
On a sheet plan, spread the cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles briefly in the boiling water, 1 to 2 minutes. The noodles will remain somewhat firm. Drain and return to pan with a little bit of warm water to prevent sticking.
In the vegetable pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the ginger, onion, and white part of scallions.
Sauté gently until they begin to soften. Add the broccoli and cook for several minutes until it becomes slightly tender. It’s likely that the broccoli stem portions will remain slightly crunchy, unless you pre-cook them, but they will add some nice additional texture.
Pour in the miso mixture, the cooked soba noodles, half of the cilantro, and the green parts of the scallions.
Cook for a few minutes, at which point most of the liquid will be absorbed. Remove from heat and taste for additional salt and pepper.
To serve, place the noodle mixture on each of two plates. Top with the roasted tomatoes and chopped candied peanuts. Finally, add the remaining cilantro and a sprinkling of sesame seeds