I believe in eating the rainbow: choosing colourful vegetables to enhance a meat-free diet. The best cooking emerges from shopping well. Look for purple and white carrots, burgundy cauliflowers, or ivory aubergines.
Here I’ve used inky mangetout, golden courgettes, sun coloured tomatoes, pale mauve aubergines, a symphony in yellow and purple, on a bed of pink soba noodles.
Soba noodles are a great go to for quick meals: they cook in a couple of minutes. They are supposed to be eaten cold or lukewarm, which may not sound delicious but in reality are. Plus they are gluten-free. I hope you enjoy this simple but tasty riot of colour as a healthy lunch for two.
Rainbow vegetables with soba noodles
1 large mauve aubergine, in thin strips
3tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow courgette, in thin strips or slices
100g purple mangetout
100g pink soba noodles
half a dozen or so small yellow tomatoes, quartered
a handful of coriander leaves
a sprinkle of poppy seeds
Juice of half a lemon or lime
Preheat the oven to 200C). Use a mandolin to slice the aubergine and courgettes into very thin strips and season with salt. Cover a baking tray with olive oil and lay out the aubergine slices. Roast for ten minutes on the top shelf until golden. Remove the aubergines, replace with the courgettes. Roast for five minutes. Remove from the oven.
Bring a medium sized saucepan to the boil. Place the purple mangetout in a steamer, sieve or colander that fits on top of the saucepan. Steam, with the lid on, for ten minutes or so. The mangetout should be cooked but still retain their snap. Remove the mangetout and set aside. Put the soba noodles in the boiling water for a minute or two. Using another colander or sieve, strain the noodles under running cold water. Toss with a little oil (you could use sesame oil or olive oil).
On a bed of the noodles, layer the aubergines, courgettes, mangetout, tomatoes and add fresh coriander leaves and poppy seeds. Salt to taste and squeeze over half a lemon or a lime.