Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Miso Glazed Eggplant

This was my guest blog that posted on the Food Yenta on August 22 :) Enjoy!

This week from my CSA I got a nice haul of eggplants....I actually got eggplants from both of my CSAs :) From the Newton farm, I got a variety known as Oriental type. They are smallish in size ~3 inches long, with a light purple and white skin.
Now when I think eggplant, I think umami. Umami is one of the five tastes with the others being salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. It can be thought of as the savory taste. Chemically, umami actually is the "taste" of the amino acid glutamate in it's salt form, and it's often referred to as earthy or meaty tasting.
Some common foods with umami are mushrooms, spinach, red wine, oysters and aged foods like Parmesan cheese and Thai fish sauce.
Eggplant itself doesn't have umami, but it pairs well to foods that do have it, such as miso.....miso is a fermented paste made most typically from soybeans as well as barley, chickpeas and other beans such as azuki. It is high in protein, vitamins and minerals and has a sweet, salty and earthy flavor. I love to use miso in dressings for salad, stir fries and soups.
Here, I use miso in a glaze for the grilled eggplant.
After cutting the eggplant in half, I put them on the grill, at a medium-high temperature and grilled them, turning once after about 3-4 minutes.
After the first flip, I started coating the eggplant in the miso glaze. I let the other side cook and flipped them again, coating the eggplant again in the glaze. I repeated this for a few more flips, for a few more minutes, until the eggplant was tender and the glistening with the miso glaze.
I gave the eggplant a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a bit of chopped tarragon to finish. They were succulent and full of earthy, salty flavor from the miso.
The best part about this recipe is that it's so easy....here it is :)
Miso Glazed Eggplant
6 small eggplants or 2 medium to large eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise if small, or into rounds if bigger
Miso Glaze
2-3 TBS miso...I used a white miso, which is sweeter, but really any miso would work well
1 TBS tamari, soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1-2 tsp honey or other sweetener of choice
Juice of 1 lemon, divided in half
2 tsp sesame seeds
1-2 tsp chopped parsley or other herb (I used tarragon because that is what I had in the house)

1. Prepare your grill to a medium-high temperature.
2. Prepare your miso glaze by adding the miso, tamari, honey and half of the lemon juice to a small bowl and whisking until combined.
3. Give your eggplant a light coating of olive oil and then place on the grill, grilling on one side for 3-4 minutes.
4. Flip your eggplant and brush with the miso glaze. Allow the eggplant to cook on the second side for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Flip again and brush with the glaze, and cook for another minute or 2. Repeat the flip and glaze a couple more times until the eggplant is cooked through and the glaze is caramelized.
6. Remove eggplant from the grill and sprinkle them with the remaining lemon juice, sesame seeds and chopped herbs.

This dish would be great with a sparkling wine such as a nice, cooled Prosecco.
So, try it out and get your glaze on :)

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