The garden is exploding in one last push before the coldness of fall settles into the leafs and then into the ground. This explosion of cooler weather loving greens, and root vegetables bursting through the dirt means one thing – harvest overdrive. Tonight I couldn’t decide what on earth to make for dinner, all I knew is I needed to use up some beets, carrots and swiss chard. As I was harvesting, and chasing dogs who run to the neighbors, I was really trying to think outside of the box. I then remembered we had key limes, then I saw coconut; I realized I might actually have enough items to make an asian inspired dinner.
As I looked around the fridge for things to use I saw a few more inspiring things – frozen wild berries, half a frozen jalapeno piece, shredded ginger and frozen udon noodles (my favorite Japanese noodle). In my typical style a recipe was nowhere in sight – just produce that needed to be used, some basic ideas of flavors and a hunch.
It turned out to be a pretty good hunch. FYI: I made it spicy, feel free to do less or eliminate the jalapeno.
Key Lime & Peanut Ginger Noodles + Swiss Chard Berry Slaw
Ingredients – Udon Noodle Dressing:
- Juice of about 10 Key Limes
- 2 tbspn rough chopped coconut
- 2 tbspn ginger – minced fresh or chopped grated
- 1 to 2 cups peanut butter
- finely chopped 3 thick slices jalapeno, seeds and all
- Shake or two of Penzy’s Spice Zatar seasoning
- extra light olive oil to emulsify(Uhm, maybe 4 tablespoons?)
- splash of red wine vinegar
- couple drops soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Ingredients – Slaw
- Big Bunch Swiss Chard (don’t be shy, it cooks way down)
- 3 Shredded Carrots
- 1 Clove Garlic, rough diced (I’ve only rough chopped in this photo, do more than that)
- 1/4 large onion or 1 small onion diced
- 1/4 Cup rough chopped wild blackberries
- glug sesame oil
- glug olive oil
- splash red wine vinegar
- pinch salt
- Start boiling water for your udon noodles. These are normally already cooked through and you only need to very quickly heat up. Save these for the absolute last thing you do.
- Udon Noodle Dressing: Add everything under the dressing ingredients together and whisk in except the oils & pb.
- Add PB & slowly whisk in the oil, it will be hard at first but will get easier. Make sure the peanut butter is totally emulsified and smooth. You’ll obviously still have chunks of the other ingredients, but the peanut butter should be smooth.
- Make sure all of your veggies are prepped. Swiss Chard should have the thick stem removed, carrots should be shredded etc.
- Heat up a saute pan with sesame oil. Add diced onion and garlic to just hot oil and let saute for about 2 minutes – stir to keep from sticking. Add in about a small handful of carrots and the berries. Splash in your red wine vinegar and salt. Let saute for another couple minutes until the carrots just start to wilt, but still have a slight crunch. Remove and put into a bowl.
- Add olive oil to pan and add in chard – be careful, make sure your chard is dry or the oil and water will cause splattering which can cause burns. No burns. It does not make for a good dinner experience. Keep adding the chard until it cooks down. Add in the rest of the carrots, and toss.
- At this point add in the udon noodles to your water, wait a few seconds, test one and drain them.
- Okay, now go back to your slaw mixture. Toss in the onion, carrot & garlic mix from before into your swiss chard and carrots. It’s done!
- Now, throw your noodles in a bowl and toss in the dressing.
EAT. Om nom nom. Tasty.
Okay, there is a reason I don’t mention the beets again.
Me and beets are at odds with each other. I literally have no idea how to prepare them properly. I actually looked up how to do it and came across the basic “throw them in tinfoil until fork tender and peel skin”. Apparently this is more like a baked potato as I found out this evening, which the fiance and I had a pretty good laugh. Turns out you’re suppose to peel them, season them and cut them up like roasted potatoes. Oh well, they’ll still taste good. The faster I can get rid of them the better. One day when I can prepare them right it will grow on me, but there’s something about a stubborn root vegetable that turns my clothes purple (I’m clumsy) that I don’t particularly enjoy right now. I will say that baked beets do smell pretty good though.
Hey, at least I can make a pretty good asian noodle dish. I have that going for me.