We got such a big beautoful bag of mizuna this week, and so I decided to make a noce big batch of pesto! I wouldn’t use this peto in the same ways as classic basil pesto, but it certainly works well with rice noodles, soba noodles, and likely with shrimp and white fish. The miso-glazed carrots pari really nicely with it too.
The bread recipe is a bonus, because it does take a little bit more effort than my usual recipes. But it’s worth it! I had my slow roasted tomatoes all ready to go from the freezer, so the pesto was easy to whip together. And for the actual bread, it just takes time, but not a huge amount of effort.
More Magnificent Meal Musings:
- Spinach falafels
- Homemade spinach pasta
- Mizuna puttanesca
- Butternut squash tart
- Roasted squash and chickpeas
Mizuna Pesto with Rice Noodles and Miso Glazed Carrots
Pesto is a wonderful way to enjoy mizuna, but I wouldn't use it in the same ways as classic basil pesto. I made this pesto to match the spiciness of mizuna, adding in sesame oil and ginger. It works really well with rice noodles, and I imagine it would also taste great with shrimp or white fish. The miso glazed carrots bring a sweetness and earthiness to compliment the spicy pesto.
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds could replace with pumpkin seeds or peanuts
- 3 handfuls mizuna could also replace 1 handful with spinach or arugula
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2-3 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger root
- 1/8-1/4 cup neutral oil (or olive oil) as needed
- salt to taste
Miso Glazed Carrots
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal, about 1/4"
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil for cooking
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1-2 tsp miso paste, preferably white but could be another kind
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- salt to taste
- rice noodles (soba noodles would also be delicious)
- 3-4 Tbsp roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
Make the pesto: in a food processor, begin by pulsing the seeds. Add in the mizuna, and pulse to combine. Add in sesame oil, ginger, and lemon juice. Pulse. While the food processor is running, slowly add oil, until you reach desired consistency. Set aside. *If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender, mortar and pestle, or finely chop everything by hand*
Put water on to boil for the noodles. Cook according to instructions on the package.
Meanwhile, make the miso-glazed carrots: heat skillet over medium high heat. Once warmed, add oil, and allow the oil to heat. Add carrots, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 5-10 minutes. While carrots are cooking, whisk together the water, miso, and brown sugar. Once carrots are browned, pour miso mixture over and stir to ensure all carrots get covered. Remove from heat.
To assemble, toss noodles with pesto. Top with carrots and crushed peanuts. If you have it, serve with a wedge of lime or lemon.
Braided Bread with Slow Roasted Tomato Pesto
This bread is beautiful. It is tender and light, with a lovely ribbon of delicious tomato pesto running through it. It looks tricky, but is actually relatively easy to make (once you get your head around all the twists). It was such a joy to make (and even more of a joy to eat!). The recipe for the bread comes from Barbara Bakes.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons 1 package instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2-1 cup slow roasted tomato pesto
Slow Roasted Tomato Pesto
- 1 cup slow roasted tomatoes*
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
- olive oil as needed
Slow Roasted Tomato Pesto
In a food processor or blender begin by breaking down the pumpkin seeds. Add the tomatoes, and pulse to combine. Add parmesan and pulse. Then, with the processor or blender running, add olive oil slowly. You want this pesto to be quite thick, so it doesn't ooze out of the bread as you roll it. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine 3 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. (this bread can be made without a mixer! Simply mix ingredients with a wooden spoon, and then knead by hand. You may need to knead the bread a bit longer – about 7 minutes).
Heat water and canola oil until warm (120°–130°F). Add to flour mixture. Add vinegar. Blend at low speed until well combined. *if you don't have a thermometer, you want the oil/water to be quite warm to the touch, but not hot.
Switch to the dough hook – dough should be soft that’s not too sticky to the touch. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost double (this took me under an hour).
Preheat oven to 400º F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Punch down the dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough into very thin rectangle, as thin as you can (mine was 20” x 24”). Spread a thin layer of pesto on top of the dough (leave the bottom of the long edge clear 1/2″). Start at the top of the long edge and slowly, tightly and gently roll the dough into a log. Pinch it closed.
Use a bench scraper to cut the dough in half lengthwise, leaving 1 inch uncut at one end. Roll the two half clinders so that the cut end is facing up (so you can see all the layers). Begin at the uncut end and twist the two halves around one another. Pinch ends together.
Start at the thinner edge and slowly and very gently, roll the braid into a giant snail shell or a very large cinnamon bun. Be careful to keep all the layers facing up. Pinch the end delicately.
Carefully pick up the braid and place it in the prepared springform. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost double (again, this was more like 30-45 minutes for me).
Bake at 400º for 5-10 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350º and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes. When the bread is out of the oven lightly brush olive oil on top and sides. Let cool on a rack.
*recipe for slow roasted tomatoes is here. I make mine throughout the summer and freeze them.