Steamed Eggplant with Miso-Tomato Sauce

steamed eggplant with miso-tomato sauce

I bought some adorable little asian eggplants, and there they lay, lingering in my fridge, waiting for me to make myself a dinner. I love asian varieties of eggplant, as they tend to be more tender, and less bitter than their larger, Italian cousins. With not much time or desire to put together a large meal for just myself, and even less desire to spend time over the stove on a sweltering 98 degree Philadelphia day, I pulled a recipe from Joe Yohan’s very fun cookbook, “Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook.” All recipes in this cookbook are vegetable-based, and intended for solo meals.  Not too many ingredients, not to much time, but a whole lot of flavor.

I altered the recipe a bit to use what I had available – some homemade Coconut Vinegar that my friend Joel gave me (and warned me to open quickly, as the yeast was still alive!) and some roasted almonds instead of peanuts. I also used the same pan and boiling water which I used to steam the eggplant for boiling the udon noodles. Less time – less mess! Altogether, about 6 minutes of total hands-on cooking, and a great, quick dinner.

A brief recipe summary, with my alterations:

 

Steamed Eggplant with Miso-Tomato Sauce 

One small eggplant, or a few tiny asian eggplants. Slice into rounds, salt, and steam until soft (about 20 minutes)

A nice hunk of ginger, diced, and cooked in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil until soft

2 Tbs. of miso, whisked with 1 Tbs. of vinegar (I used homemade coconut vinegar). Add the miso sauce to the ginger, stir.

A big diced tomato, or 3/4 cup organic crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce. Added to the sauce.

1 serving of cooked udon noodles (or soba). Top the noodles with the eggplants and the sauce, and then garnish with chopped almonds (or peanuts, or roasted sesame seeds) and diced scallion.

Advertisements

Rose Hibiscus Lime Cooler

Image

I love keeping jars of interesting drinks, mixers, tonics, and concoctions – especially in the summer. This ayurvedic beverage (to cool the acid and heat of Pitta constitutions) is delicious, very easy to make, and full of vitamin C. Boil 6 cups of water, add a handful of dried rose petals* and a handful of dried hibiscus flowers** and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain, cool in a large glass container, and then add the juice (and zest, if you like) of two limes. Beautiful, delicious, and fancy, this rose hibiscus lime “cooler” is great over ice, and has such a strong flavor that you can easily cut 50/50 with seltzer water, as I did above, or use it as a summertime mixer. Garnish with fresh mint or a lime wedge for extra pizzaz!

* Did you find some local, organic rose petals? If you did, the easiest way to preserve them for the year is to dry them. I lay mine out on a sheet pan and leave them in my oven for a few  hours. If your oven is electric, instead of gas, you will need to heat it to about 100 degrees. Of course, you can always spread the petals and leave them on the counter to dry.

**You can find dried hibiscus flowers in the bulk food or herb sections of your local natural foods store or Co-Op. Alternatively, you can often find them packaged and sold with herbs in the “Mexican” or “Latino” section of grocery stores, under their Spanish name, “Rosa de Jamaica.”