For Cookbook Club this month, we’re cooking Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi. I love Ottolenghi… he’s one of my favorite chefs to follow on social media and I find his recipes universally delicious! I was introduced to him several years back when my sister gave me the cookbook Jerusalem that he co-authored with Sami Tamimi. It remains one of my favorite cookbooks. The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes are wonderful. While most of Ottolenghi recipes fall squarely into my comfort zone (mmmm… Middle Eastern food!), Plenty is a little bit outside it. The entire cookbook is vegetable-based! We love veggies here, but it’s rare that we eat truly vegetarian – especially our main dishes. I’m looking forward to embracing the challenge!
This first recipe caught my eye right off the bat, because the combination of ingredients seemed so unique to me. Who ever heard of combining mango and eggplant?? But as a thought about it, I figured it would probably be delicious. So here we are. And I was right – it IS a delicious combo. The dressing and the mango are sweet & sour, the eggplant is earthy, and the pepper and onions give it just a little bite! It’s also very easy to make – definitely doable on a weeknight or for a lunch.
Eggplant & Mango Soba Noodles
(Adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, zested & juiced
- 1 cup oil (for frying)
- 1/2 of a large eggplant, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 4 oz soba noodles
- 1 mango, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Warm the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small pot, just for a minute or two, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the Aleppo pepper, garlic, and sesame oil.
- Once cool, add the onions, lime zest, and juice from about 1/2 the lime. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a tall-sided pan. Shallow fry the eggplant pieces in batches, removing when golden-brown, about 3-4 minutes. Place in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and allow them to drain off excess oil and water.
- Meanwhile cook the soba noodles in a pot of salted water, for 6-8 minutes, until al dente. Once cooked, rinse under cold running water.
- Once all the ingredients are cooled and dried, combine everything (dressing, eggplant, noodles, mango, and herbs) in a large bowl. Toss well. Serve cool.