“This is soooo good” were the only words out of my husband’s mouth after he had taken his first bite of this salad last night at dinner. The real beauty of it for me was the fact the HE made it!
As most of you probably know, march madness came to a screeching halt Monday night as Michigan took on Louisville in the championship game. Andy and I had filled out a bracket and miraculously had won (even before the final game had been played), so the wager that we made Monday night was just for fun! He was going to cook dinner for ME Tuesday night if Louisville won. You can bet your sweet pants that I was enthusiastically cheering on the red and white!
I WON, I WON, I WON! Plus, I got to choose the meal, so I went back to Mylene’s Vegetarian Times magazine for a new recipe. The decision to go with the egglant and mango noodle salad was pretty easy–I had a hankering for a good salad and an abundance of perfectly ripe mango–see, it WAS easy! I put Andy to work in the kitchen late in the afternoon as I headed to the garden to plant the last of this season’s seeds– arugula, swiss chard, and spinach.
A gorgeous aroma greeted me as I returned just in time for dinner to be served. After a tough 90 minutes of yoga and gardening, I was ravenous and more than ready for dinner! Take a look at the photos of the salad! GORGEOUS, just like my hubby! I guess you already know, based on Andy’s comment, this salad tasted even better than it looked! The combination of the cooked earthy eggplant, fresh sweet mango, salty and tangy dressing, and green cilantro was perfect! Each bite was like a flavor explosion in my mouth!
Thankfully there is a big container of leftovers for lunch today! I honestly can not wait for another big bowl and to make this one again!
If you are worried about gluten, like I am, fear not! Soba noodles are made from buckwheat seed and do not contain gluten! The buckwheat plant is NOT related to wheat as we know it and once again, does not contain gluten! Hooray, because the firm soba noodles make this salad amazing!
Thank you Louisville and congratulations on the big win! THANK YOU Mylene for the magazines and for being such a great friend! And a big thank you to my sweet hubby for choosing Michigan! I love you!
Eggplant and mango soba noodle salad
- 1/2 c unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 3 T honey
- ~1 + T kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic,crushed
- 1/2 frozen jalapeno, zested
- ~2 t toasted seseame oil
- 2 T fresh lime juice
- 1 t lime zest
- 1/2 c grapeseed oil
- 2 large eggplants, cut into 3/4″ dice
- 8 oz uncooked soba noodles
- 3 ripe mangos, seeded and diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped (use the green and white parts)
- 1 T dried basil or 3 T fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 c cilantro leaves, chopped
- pinch of chipotle pepper flakes
In a large skillet, heat 1/2 of the grapeseed oil with a splash of toasted sesame oil. Cook 1/2 of the eggplant for 8-10 minutes, until they start to brown. Spread the eggplant out on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt. Add the last of the grapeseed oil and another splash of toasted sesame oil and cook the second 1/2 of the eggplant. Spread the eggplant out on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt.
In a small saucepan, warm the rice vinegar, honey, and 1/2 t salt. Cook just until the salt and honey are dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Add the jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, chipotle pepper flakes, and 1 t toasted sesame oil to the sauce and mix well. Set aside.
Cook the noodles according to the package directions (to al dente). Transfer to a dish towel to dry.
Toss the noodles with the dressing. Add the eggplant, mango, red and green onions, basil, and most of the cilantro (reserve a small amount for garnish). Allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours for the flavors to marinade. Serve with a cilantro garnish.