Fall is here and it’s one of my favorite months of the year, October. I love everything about it. Weather is getting cooler, leaves turning, football, football, and more football. But I also love Halloween. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know I enjoy it greatly and love having Halloween parties. I love everything about Halloween and October, horror movie marathons, pumpkins on the front porch, oh and of course the Halloween candy.
It’s been a crazy month getting ready for the Moss Rock Festival , which is the first weekend of November and so I haven’t been in the kitchen very much except making jams for the festival, but I had to share this recipe that if you are wanting to eat “clean” and healthy, it’s a new favorite. I love the combination of Asian and Mediterranean and the buckwheat and basil actually work really well together. It’s a crunchy salad that has a great mix of textures, too: soft roasted eggplant, crunchy radishes and cucumbers.
In Birmingham we recently opened a new Fresh Market nearby and I have become obsessed with everything that’s there. Literally. However, their meat and seafood department is amazing and if you have one nearby, I urge you to try their Dry Oak Smoked Salmon. It’s to die for. This salad can be great on it’s own but I would recommend getting this and you can thank me later. If you don’t have a Fresh Market near you, any smoked salmon would elevate this dish and you would feel great eating it.
Happy Halloween and if you’re in Birmingham, come see me at the Moss Rock Preserve November 2nd and 3rd!
soba noodle salad with pesto and roasted eggplant
loosely based on food and wine magazine
1 lb Asian eggplant, sliced into cubes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into strips
3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 lb buckwheat soba noodles
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
6 large radishes, cut into thin wedges through stem
1 English cucumber-halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
1 cup prepared pesto, homemade or jarred
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place cubed eggplant and toss with 1/2 cup olive oil and salt. Roast eggplant for 25-30 minutes until soft and brown.
2. Add the soy sauce to your prepared pesto and set aside
3. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the soba noodles until al dente, about 4 minutes. Rinse the noodles under cold water, then drain very well.
4. In a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the pesto until evenly coated. Add the roasted eggplant, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, basil and 3/4 cup of the mint leaves and toss well. Season the soba noodle salad with salt. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of mint leaves on top and serve.
*Again great with smoked salmon or any type of smoked fish