Soba Noodle Salad with Pesto & Grilled Eggplant

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This is a fresh flavored summer salad with wonderful contrasting textures. The basil pesto is tossed with al dente soba noodles, velvety grilled eggplant, and crunchy radishes. The fresh mint adds a pop of flavor. Soba noodles are a great change of pace too. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Bill Kim. Among other modifications, I used half the amount of olive oil suggested in the original recipe and adjusted the consistency of my pesto with chicken stock instead. This dish was delicious warm, room temperature and cold.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a main course
  • 1 pound eggplant or Asian eggplant, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and tossing
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 pound (8 oz) buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 large radishes, cut into thin wedges through the stem
  • 1/2 English cucumber—halved lengthwise & thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn if large
  1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until tender and lightly charred, 6 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a plate and let cool completely, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roast the pine nuts until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate and let cool. (I use my toaster oven.)
  3. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, basil and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, add the 1/2 cup of olive oil in a steady stream. Add the soy sauce and pulse to blend. Add stock to achieve the desired consistency. Season the pesto with salt.
  4. 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 and pat dry.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the pesto until evenly coated. Add the grilled eggplant, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber 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.

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

5 responses to “Soba Noodle Salad with Pesto & Grilled Eggplant

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