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Caramelized Miso-Topped Eggplant

We are huge fans of eggplant. Huge. We make eggplant dip and ratatouille all the time. I've done an entire dinner out of eggplant, including a dessert - Melanzane al Cioccolato. Yes, that does mean Eggplant and Chocolate. Really. It's delicious. 

So, it's not a stretch to see eggplant on our dinner table. But I was ecstatic to hear this assessment from the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf: "Mommy, this is the best eggplant you've ever made."

Really, it's the best? What makes it the best?

"It's fleshy and melts in your mouth. And it has its own little boat bowl." 

I know that I've made eggplant boats before - such as Bademjan Shekam-por or Boats with Avocado Cream -  but I'll take it. This really was delicious.

Caramelized Miso-Topped Eggplant

Ingredients serves 6

  • 3 large eggplants
  • sesame oil for brushing
  • 2 T sake
  • 1 T miso paste
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 t soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 2 C blanched asparagus, chopped into 3/4" pieces
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • furikake for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice the eggplants in half, lengthwise, and brush the cut face with sesame oil. Place them face down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the eggplants for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on eggplant size.

They should be brown and beginning to shrivel. The flesh should be fork tender. Remove the eggplants from the oven and turn them over.

Place the sake, miso paste, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the sesame oil and honey. Stir until smooth. 

Divide the sauce evenly for the six eggplant boats, brushing the sauce over the cut sides. Place the eggplants back in the oven for a minute or two - until the sauce begins to bubble. During this last stretch in the oven, mix the blanched asparagus and green onions together in a small mixing bowl.

Remove from the eggplants from the oven. Let rest for 5 minutes. Top with the asparagus-green onion mixture. Sprinkle with furikake before serving. We served this with some short grain brown rice. Delicious.

Here's what the little boat bowls looked like when we were done. Totally devoured. That's a great thing!


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