Recipe of the week
Udon noodles with edamame and West African peanut sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
¾ cup diced white onion (about ½ onion)
½ cup large-diced carrot (1 carrot)
¾ cup chopped plum tomato (about 1)
¼ cup small-diced celery (1 stalk)
1 tsp minced garlic (1 large clove)
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (¼ bunch)
1 bird’s-eye chile, seeded and minced (1 tsp)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 lb udon noodles
1 cup shelled edamame, boiled in salted water for 5 minutes
Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, add cumin seeds, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add onion, carrot, tomato, celery, garlic, bay leaf, cilantro, chile, and lemon juice, stirring to coat vegetables in the toasted-cumin oil. Sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and cook until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and cook until oil separates from peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Add stock and stir, making sure to bring up all the tomato paste and peanut butter from the bottom of the saucepan so it is well blended. Increase heat to medium high to bring sauce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Using a stick immersion blender, puree sauce in pan until smooth.
In an 8-quart pot, bring water to a boil, salt it, and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and add noodles to peanut sauce, tossing to coat. Plate noodles and top with edamame. Serves 6 to 8.