Monday, January 17, 2011

Soba with Cilantro Pesto, Tofu, and Pickled Radishes

Soba with Cilantro Pesto, Tofu, and Pickled Radishes

One night last week, I was all set to make mixed herb pesto with the bunch of parsley from our CSA box and the basil I had purchased at Trader Joe's the day before. Suddenly, as I was washing the parsley, something didn't smell right. I brought the bunch a bit closer to my nose. Sure enough, it wasn't parsley after all--it was cilantro! I didn't think basil and cilantro would go together too well, so I went ahead and made the pesto using basil alone. Unfortunately, when I finished I was still stuck with a dripping wet bunch of cilantro without a home. It occurred to me that maybe I could make some sort of pesto with the cilantro as well. A quick search on Epicurious paid dividends, as I came across this Asian pesto recipe, which turn out to be excellent.

The day after I made the pesto, The Gastronomer stir-fried some tofu, prepared a box of soba noodles, and topped the whole thing off with the radishes from our CSA box, which she had brilliantly decided to pickle Vietnamese-style. It was a stellar meal all around.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet, November 2004, courtesy of Epicurious.
  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Purée ingredients in a food processor until bright green and smooth, about 1 minute.

Yield: Pesto covers about 4 servings of pasta
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: Not given
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 20 minutes (for the pesto alone)
Substitutions: I added garlic and extra pine nuts and reduced the amount of olive oil from that specified in the original recipe. If you like your pesto oily, add a bit more.


  1. This dish gets my vote for the most brilliant use of CSA bounty :-) So tasty! And healthy!

  2. I would have never put soba and cilantro together, but I'd definitely eat up a bowl of this soba dish. :)

  3. Glad you're going to try it Abby. The soba and cilantro pesto definitely went together well. The Gastronomer is a master of Asian fusion.

  4. Looks so delicious and fresh. Did you use regular radishes to pickle them or daikon radish?

    JACKIE at

  5. We used regular red radishes, because that was what came in the CSA box. But the idea was inspired by pickled daikon.

  6. Super delicious! I like the mixture of flavors/textures b/t the noodles, pickled veggies and fried tofu. I am a member of a CSA myself and enjoyed it! Thanks so much.


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