Recipe File: Miso Eggplant
It’s the best time of year for a vegetable lover, so end-of-summer produce anxiety has set in and I’m at my post by the stove, tending to bubbling tomato sauce and an oven full of slow roasting ratatouille. Our bellies are full of eggplant parmesan, Pasta alla Norma, babaganoush. I’ve steamed and shucked an unreasonable amount of corn for the freezer.
So naturally I don’t feel like cooking dinner.
Later I’ll make this Miso Eggplant to eat with a bowl of rice. Quick-to-prepare, soothing and delicious. You can make it with any eggplant you like—today I scored adorable Fairytale eggplants. If you use a different variety, slice your trimmed eggplant into rounds or slabs about 3/4–1 inch (2 cm) thick. You can also use any miso you like. If you don’t have mirin, use agave nectar, brown sugar, white sugar, or skip the sweetener. You might find the miso sweet enough.
It goes like this …
1 1/2 lbs Fairytale eggplant, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
3 Tablespoons neutral oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons miso
2 Tablespoons mirin
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Heat oil in a skillet to rippling but not smoking, non-stick is great but cast iron or stainless will work. Add eggplant and sauté for a few minutes until eggplant is beginning to brown. This is the part where you are adding some color and caramelization. While the eggplant is cooking, thin the miso with the mirin or other sweetener. Add a splash of water if using another sweetener.
Once you have nice color on the eggplant, add the miso mixture and garlic and toss to coat completely. Lower the heat a bit and cook for about 10 more minutes until eggplant is very soft and tender. Taste for seasoning, adding a little salt and pepper if you like. Stir in scallions, reserving a handful for garnish.
Enjoy this simple meal with a bowl of hot rice. Serves 2–3 as a light supper.