Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Spring has finally arrived here in Gothenburg and even if it’s still a bit chilly, the temperature is starting to rise. Little by little every day now. Undoubtedly spring is the time for asparagus and wild garlic, and this comforting noodle dish has become one my favorite easy recipes for those April days when there is still a little chill in the air.

This dish is all about the quality of the ingredients, so try to source the best possible you can find. These are my favorite gluten-free noodles, but you could also use a good quality whole wheat pasta. If you can’t find wild garlic (ramps) for the pesto – try experimenting with a mix of chives, baby spinach and garlic. And if you can – try to source organic ingredients. The season for asparagus in Sweden is not quite here yet, so for now I buy mine (organic from Spain) here. This is also where I get my wild garlic, as we don’t have any wild growing nearby.

This dish is super simple to throw together once you have made the pesto. And I call it a pesto, even if I omitted the parmesan cheese and replaced the classic pine nuts with sunflower seeds. And be sure to hand crush your peppercorns (in a pestle and mortar) and it will add a classy touch to this simple dish!


Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenBrown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese

serves 4

For the pesto
50 g (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
80 g (about 2 cups) wild garlic leaves
1/2 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
1/3 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp hand crushed black pepper corns

1) Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F). Rinse the sunflower seeds under running water and drain well.
2) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the drained seeds out in a single layer. Place on the middle rack of oven and toast for 10-12 minutes. Stir and continue toasting for another 10-12 minutes until fragrant.
3) Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
4) Rinse the wild garlic and drain well. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and blitz for a minute or two until well blended. If needed, stop to scrape the pesto down the sides.

You won’t need all of this pesto for 4 people, so keep the leftovers in a jar and place in the fridge for later use. Keeps for 1-2 weeks when completely covered with oil.

For the noodles
250 g brown rice noodles (or pasta of your choice)

500 g (2 bunches) fresh asparagus, the tops (keep the stems for e.g. a soup)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of fine sea salt
pinch of hand crushed black pepper corns

100 g soft goats cheese, crumbled
chives (optional), finely chopped
toasted sunflower seeds (optional)

1) Cook the noodles according to instructions on the package. Keep noodles in the pot with lid on until using.
2) Rinse and cut the tops off of the asparagus and save the stems for e.g. a soup. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the asparagus tops. Stir fry until just tender and season with sea salt and black pepper.
3) In the noodle pot add about 5-6 tbsp of the wild garlic pesto and stir until all noodles are coated.
4) Divide the noodles in four big pasta bowls and top with asparagus, goat’s cheese, chives, toasted sunflower seeds and crushed black pepper corns.

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

show hide 17 comments

Kristin | Tasty Joy - April 10, 2015 - 4:54 pm

I just love the idea of sunflower seeds in the pesto instead of pine nuts! I can’t wait to give this a try :-)

Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation - April 10, 2015 - 9:28 pm

This dish is Spring on a plate, isn’t it? So light and lovely!
Your pictures are also such an inspiration. So, so beautiful.

valentina | sweet kabocha - April 11, 2015 - 9:27 am

I saw wild garlic for the first time few days ago, but I had no idea how to use it. Thanks. I only hope to find it again!!

Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen - April 11, 2015 - 1:00 pm

So beautiful, Sonja! Love the colors and the light – spring has finally arrived. A I already mentioned on IG, ramps is almost impossible to come by here. I actually plan to try go foraging it this year. Just have to be careful about not mixing it up with lily of the valley, as they look pretty similar…

Wishing you a wonderful & sunny weekend!

Puss och kram,

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - April 12, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Kristin – Thanks for commenting! I’ve never been a big fan of pine nuts, so I always make pesto with e.g. almonds or sunflower seeds!

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - April 12, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Kimberly – Thank you so much!

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - April 12, 2015 - 3:41 pm

Valentina – Wild garlic is fantastic, although I haven’t used it much either. But the best way I’ve tried so far (in my opinion) is definitely a pesto!

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - April 12, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Sini – Thank you so much! Oh how I love that the light is back – that spring light! We have the same situation with ramps around Gothenburg (as far as I’m concerned). But I know they are far more common in Skåne and around Kinnekulle for example. I’ve even thought about trying to grow them in my garden, but I’ve also heard from friends that tehy are really hard to get to root properly. Hence I haven’t come by to give it a try yet…

Hope you had a wonderful and sunny weekend too! Love, Sonja

Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen - April 13, 2015 - 4:35 pm

Hi again! I’m probably the luckiest girl around as my mom brought a bunch of ramps all the way from Munich to Finland! So I made pasta inspired by this recipe for dinner last night – beyond delicious. xx

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - April 13, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Sini – Wow, I’m so happy for you!! :-D Thanks for sharing!

Tomas Szyszkiewicz - April 29, 2015 - 7:20 pm

Looks great. Im thinking about different things to do with lovely green asparagus from Gotland. This pesto will be given a shot.

Varina - May 4, 2015 - 4:54 am

This looks so delish. I love a good green pasta! Dreaming of Spring over here.

hardik @ Maya Kitchenette - May 8, 2015 - 5:07 pm

Sonja , I have to put this on the list of recipes to try. :)

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