Another day, another cookbook. Yes, I bought another one, and I swear it will be the last (for this week, at least!).
The recipes themselves run the gamut of traditional (twice-baked Gruyere souffles) through to more contemporary (carrot cake with black olive caramel - this one looks really good, must try it soon).
The dish I tried here is by Gary, from the Eggplant chapter of the book, and it's miso plopped on eggplant, served in a dashi/miso broth. I've changed the recipe as it originally uses brown-rice miso and I only had white miso. I also adjusted the measurements because I found the original too salty, and the way he describes cutting the eggplant didn't make sense and didn't match the photo. Despite the changes (or maybe because of them), the final result is a gorgeous, mouth-watering vegetable delight.
Postscript: I was just reading a thought-provoking post by Stella from The Witchy Kitchen on the reasons (and benefits) of becoming vegetarian. Most interesting and quite motivating.
Stella, this (vegetarian) eggplant's for you!
Miso with Eggplant
1 heaped tablespoon white miso paste
1 tblsp caster sugar
100ml boiling water
7g dashi powder or for vegetarian, use kombu (dried kelp) dashi; recipe here
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup fresh or frozen edamame (soy beans), removed from pods
1 large or 2 small-medium eggplant (aubergine)
200ml vegetable oil or rice bran oil
bonito flakes or fried shallots, to garnish
1. For the miso sauce: Mix the miso and sugar in a small saucepan. Add the mirin a little at a time. Stir over low heat for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and forms a paste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. For the dashi broth: Transfer 1 tablespoon of the miso mixture to a bowl. Mix the boiling water with the dashi powder then add to the bowl together with the sesame oil. Mix and set aside.
3. For the edamame: Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and the edamame beans and boil for 2 minutes, then drain. Season with salt flakes and set aside.
4. For the eggplant: Cut the eggplants into 2cm (1 inch) slices, then score in a crisscross patten on the diagonal about 1cm into the eggplant. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan to 180C, then lower the eggplant carefully into the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low-medium and turn the eggplants over. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until tender. Drain really well on paper towels.
5. To serve: Spread the cooked eggplant slices with miso sauce, then place in a bowl. Scatter with the edamame, pour a little of the dashi broth around it, sprinkle with bonito flakes or fried shallot, and serve.
Recipe adapted from Your Place or Mine (Penguin Books).
Ingredients, including eggplant, frozen edamame, dashi powder, mirin and white miso.
And the boys' cookbook.