One of the greatest things about doing what I do is that I am the lucky recipient of things that people have grown in their gardens. A few weeks ago I visited some dear friends who recently moved out of the city to Cobourg. After a beautiful visit where we pulled carrots from their garden, walked to the beach and swam in their pool, I was given a massive haul of home grown vegetables to take back on the train.
This bag nearly broke my back. Each zucchini was the size of a baseball bat. This produce was healthy! I vowed to use every last piece of it and promised to give Peggy, the farmer of the veggies and a reader of this blog, a shoutout for growing such amazing produce.
I wanted to try something a little different with the eggplants, so I turned to one of my favourite cookbooks, Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson. (Seriously, this cookbook is fantastic, it’s one of my absolute favourites, mostly because it groups recipes by ingredient.) I’ve used Simon Hopkinson’s method for cooking the eggplant, but have subbed in my own sauce. It’s the one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the healthiest preparations of eggplant out there. There’s no slicing, salting or frying of the eggplant. (If you want to learn about some health benefits of eggplant, read about them here.)
Serve this as a side to some sort of grilled fish, or be daring and make it a vegetarian main.
Here it is, Peggy!
- 1 eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 green onion, sliced
- A few leaves of cilantro
- Sesame seeds
- 2 heaping tsp organic miso paste
- 1 tsp tahini paste
- ¼ tsp ginger powder or thumbnail piece of ginger, grated
- Juice from ½ medium orange
- Preheat the oven to 425. Using a sharp knife, cut a crisscross pattern in the eggplant, around 1” wide and deep. Brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and pepper and bake for around 30 minutes, or until very soft.
- Remove from the oven and turn on the broiler. Using a brush, slather each eggplant slice with the Miso Dressing (make sure that it gets all the way down into the cuts). Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place under the broiler for ten or so minutes, or until hot, bubbling and brown in places. Remove from oven.
- When cool, sprinkle over some sliced green onion, cilantro. Add a few chili flakes if you’re so inclined.