Buckwheat Soba

"Quick Lunch today before I start wrapping my gifts, always at the last moment...Buckwheat Soba with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, burnt eggplant, slow roasted tomatoes and paprika spiced pepitas..."
-- @tasty_ak

Recipe Intro From tasty_ak

I love the different aromas and flavors of grilled, smoked and roasted, that come together to create this dish.
Serves: 1-2
cooked buckwheat soba 1 cup
roasted butternut squash 1/2 cup
grilled mushrooms 6-7
burnt eggplant 1/2 cup
slow roasted cherry tomatoes 7-10
paprika pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup

For soba noodle, boil a lot of water in a large pot. Add dried soba noodles in the boiling water in circulate motion, separating the noodles from each other. Boil soba noodles according to the package instructions (each one is slightly different). Mine says boil 8 minutes. Once in a while stir the noodles so they don’t stick to each other. Check the tenderness and do not overcook.

For slow roasted tomatoesCherry, grape tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Fresh thyme
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry tomato crosswise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Add thyme, if using it, and salt and pepper.Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.Either use them right away or let them cool, and keep them in the fridge.

For roasted butternut squash

1 small butternut squash
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Halve the squash lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds. If desired, peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil, spices, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.I usually roast a whole squash and keep it in the fridge in the plastic container. I like to add it to my salads, grains or snack on it.

The recipe for burnt eggplant is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book.

2 large eggplants (2lbs)
2 gloves garlic, minced
Grated zest of 1/2 large lemon
3 tablespoons lemon
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons parsley
Salt/pepper to taste

Char eggplants on a stove top, grill or on a broil mode in the oven. Turn around so it is charred all around. When broiling, I removed the stem and forked the eggplant all over the surface of the skin.

Let eggplant cool once charred all around. Peel and with a fork separate into strands. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon, mix and let strain in a fine mesh strainer for up to an hour. I added the lemon immediately so the eggplant won't oxidize too much.

Add the rest of the ingredients including 1 tablespoon of leftover lemon juice , mix, adjust for salt and refrigerate until serving.

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup of pumpkin seeds oil of your choice
1 tbs smoked paprikasalt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheet or line with aluminum foil.
In a bowl, mix pumpkin seeds with a small amount of olive oil (or other oil, or lightly cover with cooking spray); use just enough oil so that they are just very lightly coated. Add salt and seasoning to taste, and mix so that seeds are fairly evenly coated.
Transfer seeds to cooking sheet, and bake for about 15-25 minutes (or until seeds are cooked and begin to lightly brown). Remove trays every 10 minutes to stir the seeds and check for doneness. Let cool and serve.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve warm or cold! Enjoy it!