I’ve been enjoying the heck out of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I can honestly say I’ve loved every single one of the recipes I’ve tried from the book. What I’ve also loved, and unexpectedly so, is finding out just how versatile and delicious vegetarian meals can be. In Plenty, I’ve seen and experienced flavor combination I’d never known about before and it’s been so, so fun. For those of you who’ve commented to me that you’re interested in trying Meatless Mondays in your household, give this recipe a try. If you love it (and I hope you do), I’d highly recommend getting yourself a copy of this cookbook. I doubt you’ll be sorry 🙂
Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty
1/2 c. rice vinegar
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 to 1 fresh red chile or habañero, finely chopped
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
zest and juice of 1 lime
3 TBSP canola oil
2 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4-in. dice
1 large, ripe mango, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c. mint leaves, chopped
1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, gently warm the vinegar, sugar, and salt for 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add garlic, chile, and sesame oil. All to cool, them add lime zest and juice. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil and sauté eggplant until browned, 8-10 minutes. Salt, to taste, and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook soba noodles until tender, but still al dente, 5-8 minutes. Strain and rinse in cold water. Shake off as much excess water as possible.
4. In a large mixing bowl, toss noodles, dressing, mango, eggplant, onion, and half the herbs. Noodles may be set aside, covered, up to 2 hours to allow flavors to mesh. Just before serving, mix noodles well, then top with remaining herbs. Serves 6.