It’s the middle of summer and my farmers’ market box is overflowing with eggplant, summer squash and zucchini. Therefore I have been cooking a plethora of eggplant, summer squash and zucchini dishes. Why haven’t I shared more with you? The answer is writer’s block, vacation and research. Also, I blame Netflix, specifically Friday Night Lights, Weeds and various BBC series. Finally, I admit that there have been multiple times that I have started taking pictures of a dish, and then only remembered to take a final shot after I’d eaten it (yeah, I mean you, peach crisp and peach jam). Therefore, along with the recipe below I’m giving a short list of cookbooks, websites and blogs to help you find recipes, while I’m caught up watching Coach Taylor and Mrs. Coach help Dillon, Tex.; analyzing stacks of data; and trying to get more sun before summer ends.
So where do I find my vegetable recipes and ideas? Smitten Kitchen, Love and Olive Oil, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (index) and Plenty do a great job of organizing recipes by vegetables. Joy the Baker, Simply Recipes and Epicurious are other treasure troves of great recipes. There are others, but these are my go-to spots. The recipe below is from Bon Appetit by way of Epicurious and Love and Olive Oil. Enjoy!
Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Fried Eggplantadapted from Bon Appetit 4 tablespoon of canola oil, divided 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon Sriracha 6-12 sliced green onions (depending on preference) 1/3 lb thin rice noodles 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts 1/4 cup sliced fresh Thai basil leaves 3-4 Japanese eggplant, sliced salt
Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute then transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, Sriracha and green onions.
Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Allow to dry slightly by placing noodles on a clean dish towel and gently patting down. Add to bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.
Wipe out the medium skillet, add 3 tablespoons of canola oil and increase the heat to medium high. Carefully add enough eggplant slices to fill the pan without crowding it. Cook the eggplant on both sides until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Move the cooked eggplant to a draining tray or plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Continue to cook the rest of the eggplants slices in batches.
Add the sliced Thai basil to the noodles and stir to combine. Place the eggplant on top of the noodles and serve.