Broiled eggplant with sesame-miso glaze
Although she's a big fan of Japanese eggplant, Timaree Hagenburger avoids the veggie when dining out. "It seems to be an oil sponge," she says. Here's a healthier, more flavorful version.
Timaree HagenburgerThe Nutrition Professor
Cosumnes River College, Sacramento
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2 to 3 tsp. black or white sesame seeds
Zest and juice of 1 lime (see tip)
2 tbsp. light or mellow miso paste
1 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. rice vinegar (natural, not seasoned; see tip)
1 tbsp. date or maple syrup (see tip)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced (see tip)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
4 to 5 Japanese eggplant
Juice of 1 lemon (1 to 2 tbsp.)
Sprinkle of black pepper
Dash of salt (optional)
For sesame-miso glaze: Whisk ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
For eggplant: Cut eggplant into 2- to 3-inch-long pieces and then into 4 to 6 wedges (like cutting carrots into thick sticks). Toss with lemon juice, black pepper and, if you wish, salt. Layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If you are worried about the paper catching on fire under the broiler, cover edges of parchment paper with foil. Broil eggplant for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, flipping once. Brush or drizzle with glaze and return to the oven for about 4 minutes or until tender and flavorful.
The Nutrition Professor's Prep Smart, Cook Smart Tips:
- Always zest citrus with a microplane (one of my favorite cooking tools) before squeezing the fruit for the juice.
- When you purchase rice vinegar labeled "natural," no salt or sugar has been added; "seasoned" rice vinegar has both.
- Find a recipe for date syrup at http://thenutritionprofessor.com/the-nutrition-professors-date-syrup.
- To maximize the health benefits of garlic, press or mince it and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before heating or adding acidic ingredients (like the vinegar in the glaze recipe).
- You can make this a one-step cooking process by adding the glaze to the bowl of seasoned eggplant at the very beginning, before broiling and flipping after 6 to 8 minutes.
Recipe adapted by The Nutrition Professor from Spork-Fed, by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg.