As a way to use up some frequent flyer miles, an airline provided my mother with subscriptions to a variety of different magazines. Lucky for me, she passes them on once she and my father have read them. Last week I was thumbing through her most recent stack and began to read through a magazine I had never seen before, Sunset ("the ultimate Western lifestyle"). The magazine covers food, wine, home, gardening, travel, and traveling for thirteen western states. After realizing the focus of the magazine, I quickly became engrossed. You may have noticed I’ve been posting a lot about our time in California. The past couple years have provided my first -of several- trips to the previously unexplored west coast – and I find it to be a rather fascinating place. Although I have only read one issue of Sunset Magazine to date, I am anticipating that this will become a new favorite read for me.
I read through several recipes in the September issue which I quickly flagged. I took advantage of the ripe eggplant at the farmers’ market last weekend to make their miso-glazed eggplant. This recipe is fairly easy, however it may require some ingredients that you don’t typically keep on hand (such as miso, sesame seeds, and sake). I opted to use white wine instead of sake (per their suggestion), yellow miso, and Italian eggplant (at the market they looked better than the Japanese eggplant). The recipe calls for you to broil the eggplant, however we grilled them on both sides, then coated them with the miso mixture, popped them under the broiler for about 3 minutes to caramelize the glaze. We served this on top of steamed white rice.
Miso-Glazed Eggplant (Nasu Miso)
Submitted by Scott Lorenz, Scotts Valley, CA, Sunset, September 2009
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 4 Japanese eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs. total), cut in half lengthwise and flesh scored 1/4 in. deep
* 1/3 cup yellow or red miso*
* 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons sake or white wine
* 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
* 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
* 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Preheat broiler with a rack 4 in. from heat source. Heat oil in an ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Add eggplant, flesh side down, and cook until flesh starts to brown and soften, about 4 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine miso, sugar, sake, and chile flakes. Turn eggplant flesh side up and brush mixture over it. Broil eggplant in pan until glaze starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and sesame seeds.
*Look for miso, a fermented soybean paste, in the refrigerator aisle of your produce section.