Editor’s note: Please make very welcome Styling You’s new food writer. We’re excited to have Jennifer Schmidt, food stylist and blogger at Delicious Everyday on board. I know you’re going to love what she’s cooking for us.
Once upon a time I couldn’t stand eggplant.
I know I’m not alone here, as eggplant seems to be a polarising vegetable.
Ok, technically it is a fruit (it is a member of the nightshade family just like tomatoes), but you get my drift.
But then I discovered two delicious eggplant based foods and my perception of the beautiful aubergine changed. The first was babaganoush and the second was miso eggplant, which I just adore. So my hope is that with a little convincing I can perhaps convert you too, to the darkside!
To make my miso eggplant I like to slice my eggplant into thick, steak-like slices (you can simply halve them if you prefer) and bake it in an oven until tender and juicy before topping with the honey sweetened miso paste before baking for a few more minutes.
Accompanying my miso eggplant is a little black rice, to sop up the delicious juices. Any rice will do though, as will quinoa.
On the side is crunchy cucumber and radish salad. I just love the contrast of colours in this salad. Pink trimmed radish, green cucumber and black flecks from the toasted black sesame seeds. So pretty and so easy!
So tell me, are you an eggplant lover or hater?
- 2 small to medium eggplants
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white or yellow miso
- 1 tbs mirin
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp toasted sesame
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- rice, to serve.
- CUCUMBER AND RADISH SALAD:
- 1 tbs black sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 cucumbers
- 8 radish
- 2 spring onions
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line a roasting tray with baking paper.
- Cut the eggplant into thick slices. Brush the cut side of each eggplant, both top and bottom and place in the roasting try. Top with another sheet of baking paper and bake until the flesh is tender and a fork is easily able to pierce through. Around 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t skip on oiling the eggplant, otherwise, you won’t end up with a silky soft flesh.
- While the eggplant is baking make the miso topping and the salad. To make the miso topping mix the miso paste, mirin, honey, toasted sesame oil and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. I like to use a sauce whisk for this to remove any lumps.
- Next make the salad. Place a frying pan over a low heat and add the black sesame seeds and toast until fragrant. Set aside to cool. To make the salad dressing combine the rice wine vinegar, honey, soy, ginger and toasted sesame oil in a small jar and shake until well combined.Alternatively, you can place them in a mini food processor and process until combined.
- Thinly slice the cucumbers, spring onion and radish. I like to use a mandolin for this, but a knife works just as well. Place in a serving bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss well to combine.
- When the eggplant is cooked remove the top layer of baking paper and spoon or dollop the miso on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the salad with the toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve the eggplant with your favourite rice and the cucumber and radish salad.
Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance food photographer and stylist and the author of Delicious Everyday, Australia’s most popular vegetarian food blog. She believes life is too short to eat food that you don’t enjoy and loves creating recipes that celebrate good simple whole food and making the most of the amazingly abundant fresh produce we have available here in Australia.