Of course, I bought a lot of other stuff too and somehow the eggplant worked its way to the back of my produce drawer. Fortunately, I rediscovered it before I had to toss it in the compost pile.
This recipe has a long list of ingredients, but it’s a simple dish to make. It will remind you of the prepared Asian sesame salads you see in the summertime – pungent, sweet, nutty and salty. If you can’t find soba noodles, thin spaghetti will work too, but you will lose a little of the nuttiness. Serve these noodles at room temperature or straight from the refrigerator.
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3-1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Thai-style chili sauce
- 4 medium carrots, grated
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 cup diced English (hot house) cucumber
- Preheat your broiler. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Broil until skin is blackened and flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water. Extract as much water as possible, then place in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon peanut oil.
- Mash garlic and salt together to form a paste. Place in small bowl and add vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, chili sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil. Whisk until well-blended.
- Peel the eggplant and discard the skin. Chop the flesh into a coarse purée. Add the eggplant, carrots and sesame seeds to the noodles, then add the dressing and toss well. Just before serving, garnish with cucumber.
If you want to eliminate some of the carbs, skip the brown sugar or reduce the serving size.
Interested in more recipes involving noodles? The Law Student’s Cookbook’s Pantry Party  is featuring noodle recipes this month.