Aren’t rainbow carrots beautiful? I picked up a bunch the other day and was trying to figure out what I could make with them that would preserve their aesthetic quality and still taste good. Then I had a rough week. All of my thoughts of roasting, slicing, dicing and otherwise manipulating these guys flew out the window and I was hungry–and lazy. I wanted comfort food, and I wanted it ten minutes ago. So I scrapped my elaborate plans for the carrots and I peeled them, removed the greens and cooked the colorful bunch whole–no cutting board required–and paired them with green tea soba.
I don’t eat gluten-heavy stuff that much anymore, but once in a while I will whip out the green tea soba–when I just want some god damn pasta, the ultimate comfort food in my book. If you have never had it before, green tea soba is wonderful. Sold in most Asian supermarkets, it is relatively inexpensive for the amount of pasta you get (the stuff almost doubles in size when you cook it) and the green tea element of it is just enough to flavor the noodles but not too much that it overpowers the dish you put them in. For this not-so-guilty pleasure dinner I prepared an easy sauce using soy-free miso (I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but I promise it isn’t–the base is made from fermented chickpeas rather than soy) and key lime. Yes, that’s right, key lime.
Before last week I had never seen the tiny citrus in person. So when I saw them in the supermarket I bought a bag, a complete impulse purchase, figuring that finding a use for them wouldn’t be that hard. Except it was. Almost every recipe I have seen using these little guys turns them in to key lime pie. An obvious choice, for sure, but not useful for this lactose-free person. Here, I have harnessed the fruit’s herbal citrus properties for a savory meal instead of a sweet dessert; I utilize the key limes to balance the sweetness of the glazed carrots and the saltiness of the miso.
Citrus Green Tea Soba with Glazed Rainbow Carrots
Green Tea Soba
3 tbsps. chickpea miso
1 cup strongly brewed green tea
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 key lime, juiced
1 tsp. coconut aminos
2 dried shitake mushrooms
1 serving green tea soba
black sesame seeds, for garnish
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsps. water
1 1/2 tsps. honey or agave
8 small rainbow carrots, peeled and tops removed
1/4 tsp. smoked sea salt, (or more if you like. I use my brother’s amazing smoked sea salt)
fresh cracked pepper
For the Soba: Combine the chickpea Miso, green tea, ginger, garlic, lime, coconut aminos and mushrooms in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the soba according to the package’s instructions.
For the Carrots: Heat the sesame oil in a medium skillet. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the water and continue cooking the carrots until they are slightly soft, approximately 5 minutes (this may vary depending on the size of your carrots). Drizzle the honey over the carrots and add the salt and a generous amount of cracked pepper, toss the carrots to coat evenly and cook an additional 2 minutes.
To Serve: Transfer the pasta to a bowl and pour the miso sauce over the noodles until covered (you won’t use all of the sauce). Top with the glazed carrots and garnish with the black sesame seeds. Makes 1 serving.