I was introduced to the term flexitarian the other day and I though to myself I that I have probably become one without realising it. I seem to be mostly vegetarian these days, only eating meat on the odd occasion and do not miss it if I do not have it. Through this process aubergines (egg plant) have pretty much become a staple in my diet and this Miso Roasted Aubergine is a fantastic way to eat the vegetable.
Roasting aubergines has to be best way to prepare the vegetable as it yields meltingly tender yet meaty flesh. It can take on loads of punchy flavours and is easily a meal on its own. My favourite and quickest way to prepare it is to cut it lengthwise in half, score the flesh in a diamond pattern and drizzle the halves with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. Then roast it at 200 degrees C until soft and the edges start to caramelise. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and loads of dukkah (click for my recipe) and another splash of olive oil. Dinner ready in practically 30 minutes.
I spotted this recipe for Miso Roasted Aubergine on the New York Times Food. Known by its Japanese name of Nasu Dengaku it is all kinds of delicious comfort food of savoury, sweet and spicy. The miso glaze is quick to make and elevates the humble egg plant to something truly delicious.
I am not sure how it is traditionally served but I sprinkled the aubergine with sesame seeds, sliced spring onions and chili for extra heat. I prepared a bowl of wholewheat couscous and stirred in some fresh coriander to serve it with. It was a fantastic meat free Monday meal without a lot of fuss or effort. Enjoy!
On a photography note, I have partnered with Nikon South Africa and will present a Food Photography Workshop on the 16th of March 2017 in Cape Town. I will spend the morning showing how I create and style an image and then hand over to participants to style and photograph their own images. I am really looking forward to this workshop and hope to see you there. Follow this link to book your spot.
- 3 - 4 medium aubergines
- 2 tbsp sesame oil for brushing
- Miso Glaze:
- ¼ cup red miso
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- ½ tsp chilli paste (optional)
- To garnish:
- fresh chilli, sliced
- spring onion, sliced
- toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C
- Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise and then cut each half in half lengthwise
- Using the tip of a knife, cut an incision in criss cross pattern down each quarter making sure not to cut through the skin
- Place the egg plant on a baking sheet and brush with the sesame oil
- Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until the skin is beginning to shrivel and the flesh is soft
- Make the glaze by placing all the glaze ingredients into a small saucepan
- Place over a medium heat and stir until the glaze is warmed through and the sugar has dissolved Add a splash more water if the glaze is too thick. Set aside
- Once the egg plant is cooked, remove from the oven and turn the oven to grill
- Brush the aubergine with the miso glaze.
- Place under the grill, about 10cm from the heat, and broil for about 5 minutes, until the glaze begins to bubble and looks shiny. Check regularly to ensure it does not burn (a few charred edges is fine)
- Serve immediately sprinkled with sliced chilli and spring onion and some toasted sesame seeds