Cold soba salad with eggplant

One of my favorite flowers, the nasturtium.
Better because you can eat it!

I was reading a back issue of Cook's Illustrated and saw a recipe for sesame noodles with chicken. It reminded me of another recipe for eggplant and buckwheat noodles (that is, soba) in Laurel Glen's Quick Food. I studied both recipes and invented this mashup to serve cold on a summer's evening. I threw in a zucchini because I always need more ways to get rid of zucchini. And I recommend using one of my favorite garnishes: nasturtiums! Here are some of the main players: farmer's market eggplant plus herbs and nasturtiums straight from the garden.

8 oz soba (buckwheat noodles)
sesame oil
4 T toasted sesame seeds
1 thumb ginger, coarsely sliced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
5 T tamari
1 T rice vinegar
1 T honey
1 T lemon juice
1/4 c peanut butter
2 T pasta water
2 T oil (peanut or canola)
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced into thick sticks
1 zucchini, sliced into thick sticks
parsley, chopped
chives, chopped
nasturtiums, 10 or more

  1. Cook the soba according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Splash on sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking together. Set aside.
  2. Add 3T of the sesame seeds to your food processor. Put in ginger, garlic, tamari, vinegar, honey, lemon juice and peanut butter. Blend until well combined and even starting to emulsify--perhaps about a minute.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan or wok and stirfry the eggplant and zucchini until they are starting to brown but not floppy. Turn heat down and add parsley and chives.
  4. Stir sauce and vegetables into noodles. Serve and garnish with nasturtiums! Serves 4.

My fellow diner suggested I also add an "after" shot. Yes, it was really good!

I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks celebrating the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient.

The host this month is Palachinka.

If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.


Marija said...

Soba & eggplants deffinitely sounds great! Thanks for entering this to the WW!

Btw, I have nasturtiums in my country house garden, but never used them for cooking. What is the taste like?

Wandering Chopsticks said...

This looks great. I love the sharp peppery bite of nasturtiums. Thanks for participating in WW!

Darlene said...

I can just imagine how wonderfully rich and flavorful this noodle dish tastes. I bet the fresh herbs compliment the creaminess of the dress. And the flowers are a nice touch too!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Nasturtiums do taste peppery-spicy but not overwhelming. They also have a little hit of honey in the middle of each bite, I think it's the nectar that's stored near the center of the blossom. Also fantastic in green salads!