While the term “primavera” usually refers to an Italian-American pasta dish featuring fresh vegetables, this recipe adds a more cosmopolitan twist by introducing Asian ingredients and North American wild spring fiddleheads. Both soba and udon noodles are Japanese in origin; soba is made from buckwheat flour and udon from white wheat. SERVES 4
• 8 ounces soba or udon noodles
• 1⁄3 cup vegetable stock or water
• 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon tahini or peanut butter
• 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
• 6 shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced
• 1 cup fresh or frozen fiddleheads, trimmed
• 1 cup snow or sugar snap peas, trimmed
• 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup almonds
1. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook noodles for 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine vegetable stock, tamari, rice vinegar, tahini, ginger and sesame oil. Whisk in cornstarch and set aside.
3. In a wok or large, deep saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and fiddleheads and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until fiddleheads are crisp-tender. Add snow peas and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 or 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Toss with cooked noodles and water chestnuts and heat through. Garnish with almonds.
Author of 12 cookbooks including her latest, Everyday Flexitarian (Whitecap Books, 2011), Pat Crocker is a culinary herbalist and green cook.
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