Soba Noodles w/ Parsley Pesto

Margaret Roach walked away, and not for her morning hit of caffeine, but from a highly success career as Editorial Director in bustling New York City and traded it all for peace and solitude in the rural town of 300. She took the chance, and found the courage to take care of herself first and left it all for more time digging in the dirt, working in the garden and finding the tranquility that she craved so long for.

This lady has some serious gusto, the guts to drop all the success she worked so hard for over 30 years to live in rural solitude to find personal creativity.

Some might find this crazy, but for most of us, this certainly makes so much sense. Unlike others who struggle with un-happy careers and conflicting life choices, Margaret found the courage to make sense of it all and shares her story beautifully in her memoir.

Margaret is a renaissance woman, an artist, a crafter, and gardener who has found her peace by doing everything that she loves and shares it on her New York Times award winning garden blog, A Way To Garden. Thanks to our friend Jaden who introduced us to her, we’ve been able to participate in Margaret’s Summer and Fall Fest events.

This book is the perfect feast for anyone looking to find inspiration and focus back in life. You’ll gobble it up and still feel great in the end. We are thrilled to share this book with everyone.

All of her gardening tips and forum on Away To Garden are so valuable and helpful to gardeners of all levels. She wrote how to grow and store parsley for a year and included was a technique for making parsley pesto.

This recipe is inspired by Margaret, from one of her many valuable posts on cooking from the garden. Parsley is often overlooked when it comes to pesto. And reading her post was a such a refreshing change from basil pesto. Plus, as most of us gardeners know, Italian parsley is much hardier than basil and we are able to grow it earlier than basil. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to grow it all year long… cough, cough.

If you love pesto, you will love this recipe. It’s so simple, fresh and full of flavor, you won’t miss the basil at all.

You can use any type of noodle or pasta that you prefer, but our choice was buckwheat soba noodles. With Spring approaching, it felt so appropriate to prepare the parsley pesto with something delicate and healthy to bring in the new, revitalizing weather.

This is a simple, wholesome and satisfying dish. Sometimes, we just need to simply a few things in life, including what we eat and how we live.  Thank you, Margaret.

Other Soba Noodle Recipes

  • Just Hungry: Cold Soba with Dipping Sauce
  • Smitten Kitchen: Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Simply Recipes: Cold Soba Noodle Salad
  • The Japanese Food Report: Chicken Soba Hot Pot
5 from 1 vote
Soba with Parsley Pesto Recipe

We love the bite and buckwheat taste of the soba noodles with the parsley pesto, but feel free to substitute whichever pasta you have on hand. The sauce would also be great for dressing chicken, fish, or on salads. *If you have raw pine nuts, to toast, heat a dry pan over medium heat, add pine nuts and toast until golden, shaking the pan frequently to help pine nuts toast evenly. Can be served at warm or at room temperature, depending on your preference.  If serving warm, make sauce first.

Servings: 4 Servings
  • 12 oz. dried Soba Noodles
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped Italian Parsley (flat leaf parsley)
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts , toasted *see head note
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil , or other neutral tasting oil
  1. Cook soba: Heat a large pot of water to a boil.  Add soba noodles, stir as they soften, and bring water back up to a simmer (not a boil). Simmer for 6-7 minutes or according to package directions. Noodles should still have a slight firmness, and not be mushy.
  2. Strain soba and rinse well using the correct water temperature. *If serving warm, rinse under hot water, if serving soba at room temperature, rinse under cold water.
  3. While soba cooks, make parsley sauce. Combine parsley, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and grape seed oil in a food processor (preferably in smaller bowl if possible) and blend ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Toss noodles with sauce and serve.
{ 140 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Destiny

    Could I substitute curly parsley for italian parsley?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Sure. They won’t be as flavorful, but it will work in a pinch.

  2. jas

    ooo yum, I’ve been looking for something to make with my soba noodles!

  3. Emily

    I’ve been looking for a good/easy soba recipe! This may just be the one 🙂

  4. Mindy in CO

    Lovely blog. I relate to this post so well… I left the law office last spring and have started working on an organic vegetable farm in Colorado. It feels amazing. I will never return to an office job… Cheers to Margaret!

  5. Angela

    This is the first time I’ve commented but I regularly frequent your blog. Love this post.

  6. Susan M.

    I happened to have seen her segment on Martha this last week and would love to have a chance to read her book. I do not even try to compare myself to her huge walkaway but recently making a pledge to just shutting the computer off on Friday night and not turning it on again until Monday morning was extremely hard for me, but my life did change immensely for the better. I actually started a vegetable garden last year and plan on expanding it this year.

  7. Nancy

    I love the idea of getting up from my desk and walking away from it all. Kudos to Margaret for having the guts to do it!
    The pesto looks great; your pictures are awesome!

  8. Bettie Copeland

    Love the recipe! I just saw Margaret Roach on Martha Stewart. She is soooo inspirational! I’d love a copy of her new book…also love your blog!!!!

  9. JaniceT

    I am new to this site but I love what I have seen so far!

  10. Bird

    Love parsley – and am intrigued by book! Thanks for intro to her work/life/quest.

  11. Vijitha Shyam

    First time here. Visited your blog through Sala’s blog. I am so looking forward getting my hands on the book. The pictures look so inviting. Loving your blog!!!

  12. Shannon

    Would love to win this!

  13. Magic of Spice

    Beautiful dish and sounds like a lovely book, I do enjoy parsley pesto.

  14. Fletcher

    The photos for this post are absolutely stunning! As always I love the combinations in your recipes and I’m excited to check out the book!

  15. Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    Yum! I love Parsley Pesto!…

    Please enter me in the giveaway!

    I walked away from a job and am building my business now.. it is so freeing!

  16. Sara

    Wow, just wow. Takes guts, as you said, to give it all up and leave! But I bet she is happier than she ever was and you couldn’t pay her to go back–which is fantastic! I haven’t been to the library in awhile but I will check this book out very soon—well, that is if I don’t happen to win ::hint hint:: — then I’ll just wait for the book to come in the mail. HA!

    And that dish looks delicious. I’m going to add this to the menu for the weekend!

  17. Alissa

    Not only are the photos amazing, but I really can’t wait to try this!!!

  18. Debbie

    I just started a gluten free diet and was searching for interesting recipes for pasta substitutes. This sounds delicious. I would love to eat a bowl of this while reading the book 🙂

  19. dine

    When your describing Margaret’s book, it already sounds so peaceful and inspiring. It would be a great add to my reading list.

  20. Raymond Melikian

    Fantastic recipe! Clean and fresh. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  21. Sneh | Cook Republic

    I always do basil pesto, have never tried parsley. It looks great and with soba it sounds like a lovely match!

  22. Donna A.

    Bright green parsley leaves
    Pining for nutty flavors?
    Let’s use our noodles!

  23. Kelly

    The book sounds amazing – just what I would love to read right now (as I wish everyday to just get up and walk out – and not for coffee!). Thank you for introducing her to me. I can’t wait to check out her blog and book.

  24. Christina

    The pesto looks amazing although i don’t like the taste of parsley, I may just have to try it out.

  25. Jessie Wilson

    This looks amazing! Thanks for introducing this book to me, I can’t wait to go to Margaret’s blog and read her tips on gardening!

  26. Niklas

    Very very nice!

  27. Sarah S

    Sounds like an amazing book, and the pesto looks amazing.

  28. Joanna

    If I don’t win the book, I will checking it out from the library. Sounds great.

  29. Mary

    Margaret Roach is inspirational!

  30. Nabeela

    That is my dream…to leave it all and go work with the dirt and soil and grow my own vegetables and fruits.

  31. KellyK

    This year my aunt and I are overhauling the garden with eye pleasing deer proof fencing and raised beds. This year we will actually be able to enjoy more of the literal fruits of our labor instead of sharing it with beasts of all kinds…..particularly the deer. Margaret’s blog and recipes will the marching song to get it done!


  32. Peggy

    I am so looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for telling us about it.

  33. Urban Wife

    I would love to win this book. It looks like something I need to read. Now back to work… 🙂

  34. Joan M

    Uplifting – food and beauty, following your dreams….ok, back to work! Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Debbie

    Love all of her tips and recipes!
    Would love to win the book.
    Great blog site!

  36. Elizabeth Minchilli

    I think I’ll make this recipe for lunch. What a perfect combo: Margaret Roach and White on Rice. Thank you both for the opportunity to win a copy of a wonderful book.

  37. amy

    Sounds like a wonderful and interesting book. I sure want to know the details of her story in finding peace. Thank you for the giveaway!


  38. Sharon

    How I admire someone with such courage and strength to take such control over life.

  39. Lisa

    I love soba! What a great looking dish. Must try it!

  40. Cassie,

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BASIL PESTO! I really like soba noodles and am excited to try parsley pesto. ps. I would love to read this memoir… even if I don’t win this giveaway ;0)

  41. Becky

    Sounds like a lovely book and looks like a delicious meal! : )

  42. Christine

    Been a fan of Margaret’s blog for a while now. I’d love to win the book, but if not, this is a serious push to get me to buy it! Looks like something I’d really enjoy. Your recipe makes me want to try Italian parsley. Grew up with the ruffly type and am not fond of it’s blah taste. Kind of like eating grass. 🙂

  43. LiLi

    It looks great. Thanks for sharing, now I have another great parsley recipe. I love it!

  44. Barb Kilpatrick

    I’m so glad I found your site. This is awesome. Love the detailed recipe, including the pictures. I am so anxious for this snow to go away and to start gardening again. It’s been snowing 2 full days and nights.

  45. Lisa

    I love the photo of the pesto in the food processor! Looks divine!

  46. Monica

    Margaret is my inspiration! I walked away from more lucrative work several years ago and am sculpting a new life in Upstate NY also. I would love to win a copy of her book! Not that I won’t buy it if I don’t. But winning would be fantastic. She is first class in my book! As are you, White on Rice couple! Thanks for your respective blogs. You make my day.

  47. Colleen

    Thanks for sharing. Gorgeous snaps.

  48. kim

    This is a book I’d love to read. She is a brave woman.

  49. Dania

    Lovely read. I make pesto but use chili oil that I make myself and Mac nuts from my neighbors tree. Great photos too. Aloha

  50. Laura/Readerwoman

    I have been following Margaret on Facebook, and love her perspective, her honesty and the beauty of her prose. Would love to have a copy of her book. have signed up for your blog/newsletter as well – you are living our life! My husband and I are FINALLY getting a chance to do the travel and photography thing, gardening not so much, as we are moving to Arizona in two weeks and leaving garden behind – look forward to living vicariously through your work!

  51. Lori

    Beautiful ceramics! That is what I will do someday if I walk away from it all. Just me and my wheel and a garden.

  52. gwyneth

    I just got some soba noodles, I’ll have to try that

  53. sarah

    who doesn’t think of walking away and never coming back. someday that will happen, i just hope i am young enough to enjoy it. a good book to read on the bus while on the way to will have to get me through.

  54. viktorija

    The book sounds great! I’d love to win a copy.

  55. d.liff

    i do need a new book!

  56. Gosia

    I instantly felt drawn to Margaret’s story. It’d be lovely to win her book. Thank you for sharing the recipe and pointing her gardening blog to me.

  57. louise holliday

    I visit Margaret every time I sit at my computer. I always come away smiling and having learned something. Many of her ideas are in my garden. Sadly, I don’t have a Jack The Devil Cat.

  58. Nam @ The Culinary Chronicles

    The book sounds wonderful!

    And the Soba looks divine!

  59. terri

    the book sounds lovely–thanks for the introduction to it!

  60. Wendy

    Oh…Margaret’s blog is one of my favorites! I would love to have a copy of her book! 🙂

  61. April

    Oh…this book sounds really good!

  62. Amy

    The combination of flavors in this pesto looks to die for delish. I can’t wait to try it and I hope to win that book!

  63. Sharlene

    This sounds wonderfully fresh and healthy!

  64. Michelle

    I often ask myself if now is the time, is this the sign, should I walk away and make a way to climb, bike and play as a career. I stay put but I find it very important to keep that idea close to my thoughts. I love parsley pesto!

  65. Lorena

    Sounds like a very interesting memoir — especially since I’m a writer rediscovering my love of crafting and trying to develop a green thumb akin to my grandmother (whose garden is prolific with citrus right now!).

  66. Derya Gocer Akder

    You reinforce the connection I have in my mind about cooking and gardening and perhaps that’s the reason I love your blog. The third leg of that connection is a peaceful and productive life and this book you introduce seems to agree to that. All good then. I will cook pesto with my locally produced organic parsley in the land of parsley, Turkey, tomorrow night. I wish I could magically have the soba noodles but just not possible here.

  67. Rita

    A Treasured Life and Lifestyle!

  68. Rita

    A treasured Life!

  69. Kate

    This book sounds like something everyone could use at some point in their lives. I know I could.

    I had never heard of her before, but I’m engrossed in her site now. Lovely!

  70. Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

    Dare I say that I love parsley more than basil? Guess I just did… I’ve never thought to use soba with my pesto, but it’s now on the menu for the week. Thanks for the inspiration!

  71. Danielle

    What an inspiring story about pursuing one’s dreams and living life to the fullest. Buckwheat soba noodles have been on my ‘to-make’ list for a long time, this recipe is just what I needed to nudge me into taking it off that list!

  72. Dorothea

    I actually fell in love with parsley pesto a few weeks ago when I was looking for a bright taste to add to homemade cauliflower soup – it was unbelievable! Margaret’s recipe looks very similar (I added a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan to mine), so I’m sure I’m gonna love it! And thanks for such a wonderful giveaway!

  73. Barbara

    I had not heard of Margaret before. Her memoir sounds interesting.

  74. adelle

    I’m so inspired!

  75. Allison

    I’m just barely dipping a toe into the world of pesto… after a few years of being sure I most certainly do not like basil pesto, I’m finding my tastes have begun to change and I actually love it. And I find it so cool that you can use different herbs and other ingredients to make so many interesting types of pesto – I never would have ever thought of using parsley. 🙂

  76. Sukaina

    I’m assuming this giveaway is only for US residents but just wanted to say that pesto looks so vibrant. I have that same cutting board form Crate and barrel. Love it!

  77. Liliane

    I always have an overabundance of parsley in my garden every summer. Pesto is a terrific idea!
    Never thought of it. I would love to have a copy of Margaret’s book. I’ve admired her for years!

  78. Alison

    I love parsley pesto! It’s probably what I most often use to make pesto. So bright and fresh…delicious!

  79. Karen

    This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the opportunity to win it 🙂

  80. Hale

    Thanks for introducing this book to us I can’t wait to go to Margaret’s blog and read her tips on gardening. I love any kind of Pasta and pesto.


  81. Erin

    Parsley pesto—what a great idea!

  82. Katie Cain

    Looks like a delicious pesto which I’m definitely going to try. I’m very interested in Margaret’s book too, having just left a 9-5 job myself in pursuit of my bliss. Thanks for your informative site.

  83. Julie the Alkaline Sister

    This looks divine and is vegan too! I bet it’s yummy with other herbs like garlic scapes, or mint. Yum!

  84. Laura

    Love to find new gardening blogs- Thanks. Cleveland’s weather has me longing for spring!

  85. Lynn

    Thanks for the hint about the book. Sounds delightful. I’m thinking about my garden but more snow hit this AM, so will still be a bit before the season begins.
    Love your blog

  86. Sarah

    I didn’t think I could grow Parsley all year long, but my windowbox herb garden is still bursting with it! Mmm, fresh parsley pesto…

  87. Sally

    I’m a big fan of Margaret Roach! And I love your parsley pesto idea with soba noodles–a happy meeting of earthy flavors. I just made some parsley pesto to embellish a simple cauliflower soup and now I know how to use the leftovers on soba.

  88. Martha


  89. Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food.

    I never thought of combining soba noodles and pesto. They seem to belong to 2 different world/cuisines… Great idea, as I love both.

  90. Fiona

    She sounds amazingly brave.

  91. Jann D.

    I can’t wait to try the Soba noodles myself; your dish looks wonderful! I’m drawn to the fabulous photography in your blog too. I am *right* in the middle of Margaret Roach’s book ‘And I Shall Have Some Peace There,’ and I can hardly put it down. This book came along at just the perfect time for me, and I am so grateful. I would love to win a copy so I can pass it along to a girlfriend!

  92. Sharon

    The pesto and soba look like a wonderful combination. I look forward to trying this!

  93. Rebecca Rasmussen

    Oh this looks absolutely gorgeous. My husband is allergic to nuts — do you think I could use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in place of the pine nuts? In any case, I would LOVE the chance to win this amazing book!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Both of those seeds should work fine. You could even leave out the nuts and seeds altogether if you wanted. Let us know how it turns out.

  94. deeba

    Stunning photography. Love the light & the hues, and the ceramics of course. And yes, what an amazing lady Margaret is!! Salut!! I would love to own that book.

  95. Sharon Miro

    I walked away twice-once in ’94, and again last April-for good this time. When dread became the first feeling in the morning, I knew it was time to go.

    I love that there is an adventure waiting for me me every morning when I wake up–sometimes a few. I can choose which one I will follow, and that choice is now what shapes my life.

    Lovely post-reaffirming.

  96. Lori

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Follow your bliss Margaret!

  97. karen d

    It has been a dream of mine for some time to be able to have a great garden (although a small one)
    and be able to cook using all of my fresh produce. This book looks like a way to inspire all of us to get moving towards our own personal dreams and goals. Even small steps count if they are in the right direction.

  98. Julia

    Sanity has a price. That’s how I look at work. If it’s driving you insane, there’s no amount of money that can justify staying there. What an adventure Margaret must be having! Thanks for this post with a great recipe AND some tidbits of wisdom!

  99. Gina B

    What a courageous move and an inspiring story! Will definitely be checking out her blog! Thanks 🙂

  100. Maria

    Soba noodles are my favorite. I love the parsley pesto too! I have been reading a lot lately and can’t wait to check out this book. Thanks!

  101. Kristina

    Who doesn’t fantsize about walking away, at least sometimes?
    I love Margret’s blog and I’m sure the book will be wonderful.
    Those photos, as usual, are stunning.

  102. bunkycooks

    Beautiful photos! I am sure this is a lovely book. I can relate to wanting to up and leave the city and move to a small town. We see people doing this all the time when we meet the farmers. Much can be said for the quality of life that is found on a farm growing your own food.

  103. Susan H

    As an empty nester, my job disappeared over time. I look forward to reading the book and the blog for inspiration on my next adventures.

  104. EatLiveRun

    Looks delicious! Love the color!

  105. kphipps

    That book sounds like just what I need. Curling up with a good book and some pesto sounds like a perfect afternoon.

  106. Erin Block

    This is so beautiful…the post, the photos, the food…Margaret’s story. Yes, I have wanted to walk away at times…and sometimes I have wanted to walk towards…both take courage.

    Thank you so much for this post!

  107. Jane

    that is my lunch is NOW planned

  108. Jane

    Margaret reminds us to do what we love and happiness follows. Your photos of the Soba with Parsley Pesto reminds us simplicity is not only beautiful but “tasteful.” –my lunch is not planned

  109. Brandon

    Beautiful pictures of herbs!

  110. Moni

    Seeing the pictures here makes me want to cook 😉

  111. Sara

    Yes! I’m ready for this type of fresh Spring dish. (The book looks beautiful – I walked away from my desk one day, and though it’s scary it was totally the right choice.)

  112. alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    Fantastic! This looks amazing!

  113. Cynthia A.

    How can you not be a cook if you have a fabulous garden? And how can you not want a garden if you love to cook? Intrinsically linked in my mind.
    In the snowy northeast pesto always reminds me of summer–and gardening.

  114. Kaitlin

    As always photos are amazing, and leave me with a growling stomach! I’d love to win a copy of the book…it sounds divine.

  115. Britta

    I am just about to start my seeds for the spring, so now I have a new blog to follow. Thanks!

  116. JulieD

    This recipe looks amazing! The photos are beautiful. I would love to win this book. Thank you so much!

  117. Margaret Roach

    Now I know what I will have for lunch or supper today: some of the fall stash of pesto that is still in the freezer. Thanks for the nudge…and also for the kind words about the book and everything.

    I have been so happy to “meet” you two through Jaden so on, and have learned so much in the process of connecting to you. Now if you can just help me with some of the settings on my camera and the 8,987,432 urgent questions I have about digital photography. (Tee hee.) Your site always calms and transports me.


  118. ladywild

    The recipe looks awesome. I make a similar dish with mint and basil pesto. I’m excited to try the parsley variety.

  119. miffits

    This book looks pretty interesting. I would love to know how to store parsley for that long and am headed over to find out now.

  120. Meister @ The Nervous Cook

    I fantasize about up and moving to the desert sometimes, and just living among the quiet. But then I’m snapped back into the chaotic beauty of New York City, and I remember how much joy I have in my life here, and I think, “Well, the desert might be nice to visit…”

  121. Kaylen

    Thanks for the info on Margaret’s blog. I will go visit. This sounds so much like what my hubby and I did 4 years ago. For the same reasons, I left behind a broadcasting career. I’m new to YOUR blog, too. I have subscribed 🙂

  122. Phoo-d

    The book sounds beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times I have been ‘there’ over the past 10 years. So very many times. I love the dark aesthetic in this parsley photo series!

  123. Cesar Cruz

    I love the simplicity of the recipe and the amazing pictures that went with it.

  124. bellini

    The taste of summer hits you right where it counts in this pesto guys.

  125. Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    The pictures, gorgeous as always, those plates! I’m in love!!!

    I love Margaret’s blog and I’d love the book I’m sure!

  126. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    the book sounds wonderful. your food pictures always inspire me!

    would love to read any posts you have on what lenses you generally use for your food, or any photography posts you share any of your secrets in….I was salivating at your So Cal photography the other week…I am in San Diego and jones’ing for something like that!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Averie- yes, we have some online tutorials!

  127. Elizabeth Ingersoll

    What you said of Margaret Roach reminds me of a woman I revered as a child and adolescent, Tasha Tudor – both left busy, successful lives to find peace in the country and make their lives there. Her book sounds lovely and I’ll be sure to pick it up, giveaway or not! I love soba and this sounds like such a great recipe as we edge into springtime and fresh herbs again. Thanks!

  128. Karen

    I too have left work to focus on gardening; to create something beautiful and productive on a 2 acre blank canvas. I did not have career success like Margaret and for too long have worked in jobs that I I had no passion for and which were not personally fulfilling. I have made the break and am focusing on going with the flow, living in the moment and appreciating the simple joys of life. I believe that by doing so my creative spirit will reemerge and my authentic self will lead me intuitively to what will be the right path for me to follow when the time is right. I look forward to delving into Margaret’s blog and book. Thank you for the introduction.

  129. Christine T


    Thank you for sharing this book & recipe.

    Love to win this inspirational book = )

  130. Jennifer Grant

    I would enjoy winning it a great deal! This sounds marvelous (my mouth is watering)!

  131. Wendy

    Great post…I love the sound of Margaret’s book…very inspirational!

  132. April

    This is my first visit to your blog…and, I love it. I just heard about this book today! I hope I win! 🙂

  133. Novita

    I’m not sure why I’ve never made pesto before but this looks really good with the soba. I look forward to reading Margaret’s blog.

  134. Nicole

    Thanks for reminding me about Margaret’s site. I used to visit, but then kind of forgot about it. Although I am sure I would have remembered once spring planting came around again.

  135. Justine

    All of this has come at the perfect time. Thank you for sharing once again !

  136. Laura

    Thanks for introducing this book to me. I can’t wait to go to Margaret’s blog and read her tips on gardening.

    Have a great week!

  137. Jon Lue

    I love pesto and your pictures!! Soba and pesto what an interesting combination, but it looks good!

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