Udon Noodles with Creamy Vegan Ramp and Dandelion Pesto
I recently ate a gross Kale Udon Bowl at a Japanese restaurant. They made zero effort; just threw some garlic kale and noodles in a bowl and acted like that was acceptable. I’m not even vegan, but I was offended on behalf of vegans everywhere. I went to the Greenmarket where they were all excited about ramps and fiddleheads and dandelions. I picked up a bag full and made it my mission to create the best vegan udon bowl ever. I succeeded.
Let’s Just Try The Tip: Get to the Farmer’s Market late in the day, around 5 or 6. Those small farmers get up mad early, and they want to GTFO of there. They’ll be willing to do buy one get one, or slash the prices to sell off their inventory and go home. Have a chat, make a deal; everybody leaves happy.
1 bunch ramps, washed, then washed again
1 bunch dandelion greens, stems cut off and chopped
1/3 C nutritional yeasts (Parmesan cheese for non vegans, but try nutritional yeast, you’ll dig it)
1/3 C olive oil
1/3 C water
1 t kosher salt (Gentile salt works too)
2 t sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 C cashews
1/3 C raisins
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 lb. dried Udon noodles (use fresh if you want. I don’t care)
1. Cut the greens off of the ramps. Separate the greens from the whites. Chop the greens. Mince the white part like garlic, and set aside.
2. Combine 1 C dandelion greens, 1 C ramp greens, avocado, olive oil, cheese, water, sugar, 1 t of the minced ramps, salt, and lemon in a blender or food processor, and turn that into a pesto.
3. Toast your nuts for 10 minutes at 400F
4. Coat the bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil, and heat over medium. Add the remaining minced ramps, ramp greens, dandelion greens, red pepper, and raisins.
5. Bring a big pot of salty water to a boil and cook the udon in that for 8 minutes. Drain, and return the noodles to the pot, add the pesto and coat the pasta evenly. Toss the greens and ramps with the pasta. Add some nuts and make it look pretty
Fun Fact: There used to be a band called Dandelion, and they were supposed to be the ‘Next Nirvana”. It didn’t quite work out for them, but I played in a band that played a show with them, and they were much better live than on record.