Recipe and photography by Silvia and Stuart Morris of Silvobeat
In Japan, soba noodles are traditionally served cold to enhance their texture, making them the perfect base for a salad. But, who said they had to be Japanese flavoured? Here’s a flavour-packed Mediterranean soba noodle salad with balsamic and maple roasted eggplant, blistered tomatoes and fresh basil pesto.
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into approximately 1 cm thick x 4 cm long strips
- 200g of cherry tomatoes or baby Roma tomatoes, optionally on the vine
- 300g of soba noodles (gluten-free if required)
- 1 tsp of salt (with extra to taste)
- A pinch of cracked black pepper (with extra to taste)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup
- 3 tbsp of lemon and basil pesto
- Some toasted pine nuts
- A few fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Add the eggplant strips to the baking tray and sprinkle with the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. In the meantime, make the lemon and basil pesto.
- Drizzle one tablespoon of the olive oil, one tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and the maple syrup over the eggplant and season with cracked pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
- In a separate small baking dish, add the cherry tomatoes, one tablespoon of the olive oil and two tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar. Season it with a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Roast the eggplants and tomatoes for 20 — 25 minutes or until the tomatoes are blistering, turning over or stirring halfway through to ensure even cooking. Remove the cherry tomatoes from the oven and set them aside to cool. Continue roasting the eggplant for a further 20 — 25 minutes or until cooked well and softened. Set them aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add the soba noodles to the pot of boiling water and boil for four minutes. Drain and rinse them immediately under running cold water until completely cool (this will prevent the noodles from going mushy). Drain well.
- Return the soba noodles to the empty pot. Add the pesto, eggplant and the juice from the tomatoes baking dish (don’t add the tomatoes yet to avoid squashing them). Toss to combine. Arrange the noodles on serving plates and garnish with the roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil leaves. Serve the dish at room temperature.
- Visit your Asian grocer or health food store to find a varied selection of soba noodles.
- You can make this recipe ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.