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Tuesday
Feb192013

KALE + SLIVERED BRUSSELS SPROUT SOBA NOODLES

I typically work on Saturdays, but this past weekend I had the day to myself. The only plan I made was to get up to the farmers market and stop by my grandma's on the way home. I like going to the market alone. I can watch, listen, feel, observe without keeping a conversation or trying to hurry. I collected bags of greens, citrus, deliciously crispy and crazy expensive apples, lots of herbs - my usual loot. Weaving through the people, I swear that every passed mumur was about kale. If that market was any indication, the hype is not passing yet. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word 'kale', I would have bought more of those apples. So, since I like it, and the general public is still pumped on the dark leafy green, I pulled this recipe from the new Deborah Madison cookbook, Vegetable Literacy, coming out in a few weeks.

The book is serious. It is serious in the beautiful way that the author is comitted to and passionate about her subject. The book is hearty in size (certainly no shortage of information there) and the recipes are quite simple while still offering something unique. The book is divided by broad families of vegetable, and through text and recipes, shows how herbs and complimenting vegetables pair well or can be used interchangably. Heidi wrote a perfect description here. Madison has a long standing reputation in vegetarian cooking, and this book stands as further reference that the woman knows her plant based foods. The front flap says "a masterwork from America's leading authority on vegetarian cooking" - that's really all the introduction it needs.

This recipe comes in two parts in the book. First, I ran across the suggestion in the chapter involving buckwheat, seeing as soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour (at least in part). The recipe suggested tossing the noodles with the kale and slivered brussel sprout salad written in the cabbage family chapter. The thing about me and noodles, is that I like my vegetable:noodle ratio 2:1. I basically like a little bit of noodle in my salad. So when the recipe hinged on the salad recipe that you then toss with noodles, it sounded like I could have exactly what I wanted. The salad on its own is perfect, the addition of noodles classify it as a meal, either way this is a wonderful, quick dish.

KALE + BRUSSELS SPROUT SOBA NOODLES // Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Deborah Madison:Vegetable Literacy

The recipe originally calls for 4 brussels, but I wanted to finish up the bunch I had. I ended up using around 10 and discarding the tough core. There is enough dressing to bulk up the greens here, so the recipe below reflects that change. 

  • 1 bunch tuscan kale
  • 5 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 10 brussels sprouts
  • 1 plump clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (white or black)
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 4-8 oz. soba noodles
  • 4 slivered green onions, for garnish

Slice the kale leaves from their stems and discard the stems. Working in batches, stack the leaves, roll them up tightly lengthwise, and then thinly slice them crosswise into narrow ribbons. Put the ribbons in a large bowl with 1 tsp. of the sesame oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Massage the leaves with your hands until they glisten.

Discard any funky outer leaves from the brussels sprouts. Slice them paper thin (mandoline works best) then toss them with the kale.

Pound the garlic until smooth in a small mortar (I used a bowl and minced the garlic fine). Stir in the vinegar, remaining sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss well. This much can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to serve, or enjoyed alone as a salad.

Bring the water to a boil. When starting the noodles, finish the salad with the sesame seeds, pepper flakes and green onions. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and drain well. Toss the noodles with the greens. The noodle salad can be served warm or cold.

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Reader Comments (85)

dear heavens. making these on Friday!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertami

Well... I think I have my next MUST-MAKE recipe. Looks like something I'd go bonkers over.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian @ A Thought For Food

What perfection! This is easily my favorite salad combo ever - kale & brussels sprouts go together so beautifully! Love the asian inspired dressing on this one too. Gorgeous!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShira

I love the perspective of the photographs you feature-it's like seeing food in another beautiful light that I don't typically take stock of. And bravo to a beautiful use of kale and brussels, two hot commodities in the food world right now!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

This is my favorite new meal. I haven't made it yet, but I just know. Loved your words about the cookbook and experience of the market this past weekend. Always beautiful, especially alongside those photos! :)

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Soba noodles and dark leafy greens - how can you go wrong with that... looks delicious

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Mars

I've made something similar and I really love the pairing of brussels sprouts and soba noodles- I think it's the earthy combination of the two. Lovely addition of kale!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentererin

Did you take the pictures for this post Sara? I love them. I only asked because the don't look like Hugh's pictures. Love!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdlyn

so lovely! i have all of this is my fridge/pantry and will be eating tomorrow :)

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjac kaiser

ohhh, looks so good.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Well, this soba dish sounds pretty perfect to me now. Vegetable Literacy just landed in my wishlist, too, thanks for the heads up!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

You've just married 2 of my favourite veggies and I LOVE the sounds of this dish! Like you, I like my veggie quantities to be at least twice the noodle quantity.... especially when Brussels sprouts are involved. Beautiful photos!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Oh I love this. I know people say this, but I actually DO have al the ingredients on hand and am looking for a good way to use up my kale. Tell Hugh, lovely photos! You two make quite the talented pair.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana

what a beautiful dish!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

What a gorgeous and appealing salad. I love soba noodles! Definitely trying this.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Kitchie

This is looks deliciously healthy - I may add some sriracha for some extra spice. If the other recipes in Vegetable Literacy look half as appetizing, I'm all in!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterterrabites

This looks so great! My problem is that I have a hard time finding fresh, robust kale at times. It's difficult when the other kale lovers get to the grocery store/farmer's market before you!

Also, I love that there are brussels sprouts as well. All the shades of green in the rainbow!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane @ Vintage Zest

I've never had soba noodles before. This is will be the first recipe to try them out. I do love brussels sprouts and I'm trying to incorporate more leafy greens like kale in my meals. Thank you for the recipe and new cookbook discovery.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElise {Buttercream & Roses}

What! Farmer's market in February? I keep telling Thom we need to get out to California at some point, but I think we need to put a rush on it. Fo' real.

As for this leafy green soba noodle goodness, you're making me wish I was having it for dinner instead of.. whatever it is we're having for dinner. Love the ratio of veggies to noodles - the lady after my own heart.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

Oh. my. word. This post just pretty much made my life. I just got back from Japan where my meal of choice was soba noodles, so I am delighted to have come across a recipe that incorporates three of my all time faves: kale, brussels sprouts, and soba! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBunny, C.

this looks phenomenal!

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

All these ingredients are in my cupboard!!! Beautiful, as always.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMischelle

Fantastic, can't wait to try pairing kale and spaghetti

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Such pretty pictures!

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterami@naivecookcooks

Geeeeeeeeet out. This is fabulous. Why don't I live inside your mouth?

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

Gorgeous greens! This book sounds great. May I ask how you keep your herbs when you stock up @ farmers mket? Always looking for tips.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSalvegging.blogspot.com

awesome idea for a salad. looks and sounds super clean and fresh!

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

I've been looking for a reason to use my mandolin. Now I have one. I love the simplicity and beauty of this dish. As always you photographs are breathtaking.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersandra

This will be tonight's dinner!

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEarnie

This looks delicious! and that picture of the sauce is just incredible! can't wait to get my hands on Deborah Madison's book.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharlotte au chocolat

I'm trying to incorporate more kale into my diet, but find typical kale a bit time consuming since removing the stems is desired. How do you feel about baby kale? I've tried only in my smoothies/juicing, but not cooking. I imagine it would be much like baby spinach, but your opinion would be great!

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

@Sherry - baby kale is harder to find by me. I see it in packaged salad blends, but rarely on its own. I suppose it would cook like spinach but wouldn't shrink down as much...or be as smooth for that matter. I say play around with it ;)

February 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

Sara, this looks utterly appetizing. And you've managed to bring to life a recipe that features two of the very same ingredients I'm itching to use in my fridge today - lucky me! I'm looking forward to cooking this up for dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing your work.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterm.mcentee

I'm super excited about this cookbook--it sounds so good! Love the idea of soba with lots of dark winter greens. :)

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

I made this for dinner tonight, but given the wind and snow outside, I roasted the brussel sprouts and kale before tossing. I used less oil in the dressing to account for the oil I used in roasting. It was fantastic! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramy

This looks so yum. Definitely on my to-make list for next week.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternicola lynde

YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle Bryan

Oh man, Deborah Madison is my hero. I am now officially pumped to get my hands on her book (thanks for the enticing description), and am glad to have this great recipe in the meantime. There's something for everyone in my family to like here, noodles for the kids, Brussels sprouts for my husband, and kale, glorious kale for me!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Beautiful, lady. I'm so jealous that you get Deborah Madison's next book early...I probably cook from her books more than anyone else's, just as general, baseline good recipes. Thanks for this preview! --S

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I dearly love Deborah Madison and this has just convinced me to buy her new book! Thanks.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternicole

This is literally a combination of my three favorite things. Can't wait to try it ASAP... any tips on how to sliver the brussels sprouts without a mandolin?

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiza M.

polished mine off with a drizzle of tahini and some sliced avocado. delish!

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteremily

So simple, yet so delicious looking! Can't wait to try this one, thanks for sharing :)

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMcKel | Nutrition Stripped

i am so with you on the 2:1 veg: noodle ratio. except when i take them 3:1. or 4:1. sometimes, i just chuck the noodles altogether.

and yes, that IS the sound of me, impatiently tapping my feet, waiting for Deborah's book to arrive. oh, the hardly-waits... she is such a gem.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly

@Liza M. - sharp knife, steady hand and cold Brussels. Just slice thin as you can and they'll be just fine!

February 23, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

this looks & sounds fabulous!! DM is a fountain of knowledge and inspiration. Is it possible to find soba noodles that are 100% buckwheat??

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

One of the first things I did when I got home was add this book to my amazon wish list. You should get commission. :)

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I love that you say you like a little noodle in your salad :) I like my salad, but I really like my noodles...I'd say I'm a 1:1 girl. I'm still not 'over' kale...but I do feel a little bad for chard!

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This looks amazing! Love how the recipe calls for high fiber kale & bone healthy sesame seeds all in one recipe. Thank you!

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnastasia Healthy Mama Info

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