just a smidgen

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

I have a thing for flowers.. sometimes it’s roses..

Red Rose


Hydrangeapussywillows and a calla lilly..

Calla Lilly

The closer we get to spring.. most definitely you will almost always see tulips in my kitchen..

Tulips 2

Anything to create an early spring… our winter season is so long and tiresome.

Today we have beautiful sunlight streaming through our windows and the light glowing through the petals is so luminous and uplifting! To photograph these I’ve let the light wash out behind to amplify the color focus of the petals.

Tulips 3

I took a series of photos yesterday that were a complete fail { along with my Coconut Butter Fail }.. no tripod, low light..

So I waited for the purple and pink sunrise to lift and reshot them for you.


Valentine’s Day for our family is flowers and cards and experimenting with new recipes..

low-key, the way I like it.

Thumbing through cookbooks for inspiration, my favourite Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Plenty” didn’t disappoint… I couldn’t wait to try his “Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango”.  I love when I get the chance to shop for just one special recipe.. it feels so easy and intentional. As I shop, I imagine I’m living a simpler life, wandering the market in France or Italy. I do a lot of escaping in my mind.. not sure if that’s a good thing?

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

In a perfect world, I would only shop at Blush Lane or Community Natural Foods.

Soba Noodles IngredientsTiny aisles, fresh organic produce and fruit, burlap shopping bags.. all make the chore of grocery shopping epic:)

There were a few hiccups, like not having two large colanders and trying to strain the Soba noodles with the lid.. not a good idea. Or “sampling” for heat, the tiny end of the bright orange chili pepper.. and having to suck back enough yogurt to take the sting out of my mouth.. another “brilliant” idea.. but in the end it was so worth it. Technically this isn’t a vegan recipe, but you could substitute a vegan alternate for the white sugar.

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango Cropped A

Here is my version of the recipe.. you’ll have to pick up a copy of the cookbook if you want the original.. but that is also so worth it!

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango
I wished I'd had two colanders for this.. or should have done the eggplant earlier in the process in order to reuse the colander for draining the soba noodles. We loved the combination of flavors and wondered if a few peanuts or pistachios would have added a nice finishing touch.
Cuisine: main dish, vegetarian, vegan
Serves: 6
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar (or vegan substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1/4 fresh chili, seeded and minced (mine was a scotch bonnet)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime, grated zest and juice
  • sunflower oil
  • 2 small eggplants, chopped 1/4 inch strips
  • 8-9 oz box Kamut Soba Noodles
  • 2 ripe yellow Ataulfo or other mangos
  • 1 2/3 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced thin
  1. Stirring constantly, gently warm the rice vinegar, sugar and salt over low heat until the sugar dissolves (about 1 minute). Stir in the garlic cloves, chili pepper and sesame oil. Set aside to cool. Once cooled add the lime zest and juice.
  2. Cover the bottom of a cast iron frying pan with sunflower oil, brown the eggplant in about 3 batches. Then put the cooked eggplant pieces in a colander, toss with salt and leave to drain in the sink or over a plate.
  3. Boil salted water in a large pot and then cook the box of Soba noodles until they are cooked but slightly al dente (about 5-9 minutes). Don't let them overcook. Drain in a large colander and rinse well under cold water. Leave to finish draining or pat dry with a clean tea towel.
  4. In a large serving bowl, toss the noodles with enough dressing to coat the noodles (you will have some left over). Add the eggplant pieces, mango, herbs and the onion slices. Toss everything well to coat, adding more dressing as desired.
  5. Top with a few pieces of avocado and fresh, unchopped cilantro and serve.

Love, Smidge Bluebird tiny

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