meatless . #37 {black sesame otsu w/shitake, eggplant + edamame}

Well I guess it’s true…when it rains, it pours. In the last few days we’ve had two house problems arise, one dealing with our hvac unit and the other with our hot water tank pipes; both involved water, and lots of it. I’ll spare you the gory details but just know that they would either make you drink or say a prayer of thanks that they are problems you don’t have to deal with, perhaps both. The drink, of course, would be out of total sympathy. Oh well, they also say things come in threes so if you add a fridge repair last month to the list, then I can only hope our run of house fiascos is over…at least for a while. So on a day like today, when the ‘joys’ of homeownership were spraying me in the face I couldn’t think of anything that would be better for dinner than a big bowl of comfort food, and for us, that usually means something braised, stewed or centered around a noodle. I needed something quick and easy {this recipe is also inexpensive, especially if you get the pine nuts, sunflower + sesame seeds in the bulk section of your grocery store}…I went with the noodle. 

I have been enamored with this Black Sesame Otsu recipe for months, ever since I saw it on 101 Cookbooks {the recipe can also be found in the Super Natural Every Day cookbook}. You know Heidi Swanson is both a master in the kitchen as well as an amazing photographer when she can make grey soba noodles beautiful. Seriously, I fell in love with the photo first. Then I read the recipe. Today was finally the day to make this dish. And let me tell you…you will absolutely love it! I only had to get to step four – crushing the toasted nuts and seeds – to know I was really, really going to enjoy dinner. I know it is going to sound incredibly weird but after I ground the nuts and seeds there was a wonderful smokey, nutty fragrance wafting up from the little food processor it almost smelled like bacon.  I wanted to add somethings to the dish {1 cup edamame, 3 sliced and sauteed shitake mushrooms, 1 large Japanese eggplant slice into ½” x 1″ matchstick piece + sauteed} so only used 6 oz. of tofu.  You must try this recipe. I guarantee instance infatuation. 

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