25 May 2009

Soba Noodles with Eggplant, Garlic, Chilis, and Walnuts

I have a little bit more of an appetite these days. I haven't cooked much, unless toast counts, but my kitchen is somewhat more appealing these days. I've started slowly going through mom's things at the house- old boxes of photographs, telegrams, and correspondances. My mom was the one in the family who saved everything- eighteenth century family photos, my grandfather's manuscripts, two whole shoeboxes full of letters my grandmother wrote her while in college. Dance cards filled out with names of boys, most now forgotten, buttons from every presidential election since 1956. Her divorce papers. Every award, paper, or gold star I ever received in school.

It's exhausting, going through everything. It's all I do- work, clean out the house, deal with bills and debts and credits. All the work, however, does stir up an appetite. I've been trying to empty out some things in the pantry, since I've essentially inherited my mother's pantry as well. Soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles) are great because they cook in minutes and are more nutritious than plain old pasta. Combined with eggplant, chilies, garlic, and walnuts, and drizzled with sesame oil, it's the only thing I've cooked in weeks.

Soba Noodles with Eggplant, Garlic, Chilis, and Walnuts

8 oz soba noodles
peanut or grapeseed oil
2 cups of cubed eggplant
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or chili flakes (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
sesame oil, to taste
thinly sliced red cabbage, optional (I like the extra crunch)

1. Set a pot of water to boil.
2. Heat a generous splash of grapeseed oil in a skillet. Add the eggplant and garlic and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is completely tender. Add the walnuts, pepper flakes, and salt and cook a few minutes more, until the walnuts are lightly toasted.
3. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to package directions (about 6-8 minutes). Transfer the noodles with tongs to the pan with the eggplant and add the cabbage if using. Toss everything together to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with sesame oil. Serve immediately.


Amy said...

This looks nummy... : )

Rita said...

This is lovely, the type of meal I love. Thanks for sharing.

daMawma said...

In a blog from previous years you confessed that you did not like sweets all that much. But over the past five months there was an abundance of cake and pie recipes, which I realized was a tender offering to your mom's tastebuds. I guess recipes for sweets will be fewer now, but don't abandon them altogether.

Lee said...

Good to see you back. And great recipe. Hugs.

Hartley from Kitchen Caravan said...

This looks so tasty! I love Soba Noodles so I can't wait to try out this recipe. Another one of my favorites is this recipe for Soba Noodles with Tofu Miso Dressing. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Mercedes, Love your strength. Love from London.

foodcreate said...

Thanks for sharing:)

Sara said...

I love Soba noodles so I'll be sure to try this recipe soon. I'm glad you're still cooking despite all the new responsibilities you have to take on. Keep your chin up, though, the mountains of papers will eventually get organized!

P.S. Toast DOES count!

Jaya said...

Mercedes, I was so saddened to hear of your Mom'ssudden passing, but I take stock in your beautiful tribute to her through your cooking, writing and beautiful photographs. It warms my heart to see a virtual community wrap you in a warm embrace of support and I hope that you continue to feel our best wishes, despite the difficult time you are enduring. I lost my father at 15, he also passed very soon after being diagnosed with cancer, but the silver lining shows its face in the most unexpected and beautiful moments.

Anonymous said...

I just read all 88 comments from your last post. My make up is smeared across my face as I was so touched by the outpouring of love and support. My mother died a couple years ago, a person I spoke to 10 times a day, then she was suddenly gone. When one grieves deeply it means one has loved deeply. Now Im going to make some of your soba noodles. Peace, Figtreeapps

Susan said...

One day at a time. Good to see you back, cant wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Lisa Johnson said...

The meal looks wonderful and I'm glad that you're eating and taking care of yourself. I'm so sorry to hear of your mom's passing.