GRILLED EGGPLANT WITH SOBA NOODLES

Perfect for the middle of summer when basil and eggplant price have hit rock-bottom and you’ve spent all of your money on a new fan.

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 4 PEOPLE OR JUST 1 IF YOU WANT TO SAVE THIS
STUFF FOR LUNCH ALL WEEK.
EGGPLANT AND MARINADE
1⁄2 cup rice vinegar
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup or other liquid sweetener
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
NOODLES
8 ounces soba noodles*
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1⁄2 cup fresh basil cut into thin ribbons
11⁄2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Mix up everything for the marinade in a glass. Slice the eggplant crosswise into 1⁄4-inch
rounds. Place the eggplant in a large pan of some kind and pour the marinade over that.
Let the eggplant marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour if you’ve got the time.
2 While the eggplant marinates, cook the soba noodles according to the package directions.
Drain the noodles and rinse them with cool water so that they aren’t still cooking. Place them

in a large bowl and add the toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar. Stir it all up.
3 Bring your grill or grill pan to a medium heat (around 300° to 350°F). Oil the grill grates.
When the eggplant is done marinating, grill the eggplant slices (but don’t throw away that marinade) on each side 2 to 3 minutes or until you see some grill marks. If the eggplant begins to look a little dry, take the slices and dip them in or brush them with the remaining marinade and continuing cooking them until done. Eggplant hydration. Boom.

4 When all of the eggplant is done cooking and has cooled slightly, cut it up into 1⁄2-inch squares. Mix together 1⁄2 cup of the leftover marinade and the 3 tablespoons of water. Pour that mess all over the noodles and mix. Toss in the eggplant and basil and mix again. Top with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature or cold.

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