The last day of summer (phew!). And so it seemed fitting to make this mango and aubergine soba noodle salad by Ottolenghi. Some tried and tested variations (and in my view improvements) to his original recipe:
- Be generous with the aubergine. He says to use two, I would say use two of the biggest bad boys you can find. Or three normal ones.
- Cube and toss the aubergine in olive oil and roast for 25 mins in a hot oven. It's easier and less oily than pan frying in the 300ml of oil he suggests, though I don't for a second disagree that a well fried and daresay oily piece of aubergine is something delicious.
- Use less sugar in the dressing. He suggests 40g. I used 20g and still thought it was too sweet.
- Use more lime, the tanginess is deluxe and I think much nicer than the taste of the rice vinegar.
- Thinly slice the red onion and steep it in the lime juice. It's less oniony and goes a nice puce pink colour.
- Don't bother weighing the herbs, just use what you think looks right. Life is too short to weigh basil leaves.
- Don't believe him when it says 'serves 4'. The two of us ate the whole lot within minutes of me putting down the camera. Incredibly, the recipe in the book (a bible of sorts in this house) says 'serves 6'.