I love the way the flavors in this dish work together: there’s a little smokiness, a little sweetness, and a little tang– all in a warming, earthy tangle. I chose butternut squash because that’s what I had on hand, but I’m sure other types of winter squash would be equally delicious. I followed Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for roasting the squash and it turned out perfectly.
*To toast the pine nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes, watching closely, just until lightly browned and fragrant.
*If you don’t have a steamer you could try one of these methods for steaming the kale, or even the microwave. Whatever works!
1 cup roasted butternut squash cubes (I used 1 small butternut)
1 smallish bunch of kale, rough stems removed, chopped
1 package of soba noodles
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
For the dressing, whisk together:
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Cook soba according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, steam kale with a tiny dash of salt in a metal steamer with lid over medium-high heat, for 4-5 minutes. This may have to be done in batches.
- Toss soba with kale and dressing, and sprinkle with pine nuts. Taste and see if you want to add a little more tamari or other dressing ingredients.
Yield: About 3 servings
Let me be clear about something: the only “grilling” I do is on my George Foreman. That’s right, this one window kitchen is in a one bedroom rental in Brooklyn; the yard is a stoop, a view, and nearby public parks. If you do have access to an actual grill, by all means use it! You can also use a stove-top grill, or any old frying pan (using a little high heat-friendly oil), browning on medium high heat, a few minutes per side.
*Note: Most soba noodles contain wheat and therefore gluten. I used King Soba sweet potato-buckwheat noodles, which are gluten-free.
*Optional: If bitter eggplant is a concern, just salt it and set aside for at least 1/2 an hour beforehand. (I didn’t bother.)
2-3 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise
2 heaping tbsp miso
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp agave
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Generous handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 package soba noodles
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wheat-free tamari (or regular soy sauce, if gluten is not a concern)
1-2 scallions, sliced (optional)
Sriracha for serving (optional)
- Pre-heat grill/cooking apparatus.
- Whisk together miso and hot water, then mix in the sesame oil, agave, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Brush onto eggplant slices and grill for about 3 minutes, working in batches as necessary.
- Meanwhile cook soba in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, then quickly toss with olive oil and tamari.
- Top soba with eggplant, basil, and scallions (if using). Serve with sriracha, if desired.