Thursday, October 6, 2011

Miso Glazed Eggplant

I love eggplant but often find myself in a rut over how to prepare it. The Mediterranean standbys grow old and a bit to familiar. But while flipping through one of Ross' Men's Health magazine, an article jumped out about dressing up your veggies. Asian condiments and a hot broiler seemed a good fix for the eggplant rut.

adapted from "A Meat Lover's Guide to Vegetables" in Men's Health, October 2011

The Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
2 Tbsp shiro (white) miso
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

The Process:
Preheat the broiler.

Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with vegetable or olive oil Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the slices in a single layer.

Combine the miso, honey, vinegar, and soy sauce along with a dash of pepper. Whisk until well blended. Brush the sauce on the exposed sides of the slices.

Broil the eggplant 6 inches from the heat until the sauce is caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the slices, brush with exposed sides with sauce and broil 3-4 minutes more.

Remove the eggplant to a serving platter and brush with remaining sauce before serving.

The Review:
I adored the miso glazed salmon I tried a few months back. The fish had a lovely balance of sweet, salty and umami. The eggplant, though, lacked something. The funk of the miso seemed to overpower the honey and soy sauce instead of blending with it. The sauce didn't seem to caramelize as promised, so much as brown and burn. And while I have enjoyed many silky or meaty textures of eggplant, depending upon how prepared, this incarnation seemed almost slimy.

Next time perhaps the smaller Japanese eggplants are in order. And a bit more tweaking with the sauce ratio. There is always room for improvement, and never a failure without the chance for later success.

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