cold soba noodles with eggplant and mango

ottolenghi soba noodle with eggplant and mango

cold soba noodles with eggplant and mango
red onion, basil, cilantro
garlic chile lime dressing, peanut and lime garnish

This is Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s dish. He says, “It is the refreshing nature of the cold buckwheat noodles, the sweet sharpness of the dressing and the muskiness of the mango that make it so pleasing.” Hard to argue with that.

I made a few minor changes, including grilling the eggplant instead of frying in sunflower oil. And I added peanuts. The photo of this dish in his book Plenty looks like a mess, a delicious mess. Initially I plated it in the Taste With The Eyes style, but it looked too fussy, so I dumped the whole lot onto another platter, to mess it up, just like Ottolenghi. Not only did I think the noodle dish was spectacular, but I learned a lesson in plating too. Sometimes disheveled is better.

cold soba noodles with eggplant and mango recipe

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It’s The One Dish To Serve With Those Grilled Steaks!

eggplant and garbanzo salad
Grilled Eggplant Topped with a Chickpea Mash
Tomato Cucumber Onion Relish, Tahini Sauce, Mint Garnish

It’s a side dish, it’s a salad, it’s a vegetarian entree. Throw some steaks on the grill and serve them with this fabulous vegetable-bean dish! That’s the whole menu, right there. Smoky grilled eggplant is the base, topped with a terrific warm chickpea mash, a lively colorful relish, and a creamy sauce. It’s one unfussy yet pretty vegetarian platter bursting with flavor, the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat, chicken, or fish…

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Eggplant & Spiced Lamb Napoleon


Grilled Eggplant Layered with Spiced Lamb
Roasted Tomato, Feta, Mint

The seasons fly by, don’t they? We just held our Lusty Month of May Springtime Jazz Feast, and here we are already testing dishes for our Sunken City Supper Club SUMMER Event, “Mediterranean on the Pacific.”

It will be held at our friends’ home high on the hill in Rancho Palos Verdes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For this theme we will be imagining that the ocean is the Mediterranean Sea. We’ll be cooking with seasonal summer ingredients and Mediterranean flavors. This dish made the cut…

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All About Eggplant

We made grilled eggplant at least once a week during the month of August. My blogger friend, Simona of Briciole, is hosting Fresh Produce of the Month event, and this month it is, you guessed it, eggplant. So, without further ado, here are all my submissions to the event:

How to: Rub the sliced eggplant with kosher salt and let them sweat on paper towels for an hour, turning once, to remove much of the moisture. Then rinse off the salt, pat dry, and brush with olive oil. Grill over medium high heat. I like to slice the eggplant in generous portions so it doesn’t shrivel up on the grill.

Grilled Skirt Steak
over Grilled Eggplant and Salsa Verde Black Beans
Cilantro Garnish

A year ago, I posted this black bean with salsa verde recipe. It comes from Nancy Silverton’s A Twist of the Wrist cookbook featuring very quick recipes that come from a can or a jar. The recipe is posted here. Last time I topped the beans with avocado, this time with grilled eggplant. Both excellent with skirt steak.

Salad of Grilled Eggplant and
Slow Roasted Tomato with Bûcheron
Dijon Vinaigrette

This is a simple salad but don’t let that fool you, it is loaded with flavors of the smokey eggplant, the concentrated roasted tomato, the tangy goat cheese, grilled bread, mixed lettuces, Jacques Pepin’s vinaigrette.
My nephew, Jett, helped make slow roasted tomatoes. I cut the roma tomatoes while he poured olive oil into the baking dish. Then he placed the tomatoes in the dish, sprinkled with kosher salt, a little sugar, and dried oregano, then drizzled more olive oil over the top. We slow roasted them at 250 for 2+ hours.

To finish, we topped the tomatoes with chopped parsely and minced garlic. I read about this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, it was adapted from Cafe Lago in Seattle.

Festonati Pasta, Grilled Eggplant, Homegrown Tomato
Topped with Grated Smoked Scamorza, Fresh Basil
Olive Oil, Garlic, Red Chile Flakes

Chunky grilled eggplant was perfectly paired with this uncommon garland-shaped pasta called festonati.  The festonati was tossed in olive oil heated with shaved garlic and red pepper flakes, then eggplant, chopped tomatoes and basil added. Finished with grated scamorza. I especially like this rustic pasta dish, all the components are bold and rough chopped.
Grilled Eggplant, Melting Scamorza
Homegrown Tomatoes, Fresh Basil
with Garlic Anchovy Oil

If you like smokey flavors, do try smoked scamorza paired with grilled eggplant. This aged mozzarella-style cheese is made from water buffalo milk.
To make the flavorful oil: Heat olive oil, add minced garlic, then anchovies. Stir until the anchovies dissolve. Remove from heat, add red pepper flakes, chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle over tomatoes and serve with crusty bread to dip in the flavored oil too. This makes a great side dish to grilled chicken.
Still craving eggplant? You might want to check out  Spaghetti with Eggplant Cream Sauce too. It comes in handy when fresh eggplant is not available.
My absolute favorite way to prepare eggplant is GRILLED! How about you?