Sunday, May 21, 2006

Baked Miso Eggplant

In preparation for this week's Sunday Night Dinner, hosted by Jonathan (maybe we'll be able to convince him to guest post???) he, Laurie and I took a road trip out to Asinayo, a Korean food market in downtown Framingham. He got the ingredients he needed for tonight while Laurie and I spent the time exploring the aisles. We saw the biggest bags of dried mushrooms (of at least four different types) I've ever seen as well as salted jellyfish and cans of silkworm pupas. I really need to remember to bring my camera next time - it was a fun trip into a completely different culinary world. I ended up buying a packet of soba noodles and white miso (soybean paste). As we continued our road trip on the backroads returning to Boston we also sampled a sweet yogurt drink that the saleslady helping Jonathan out in the store had tossed into his bag as free samples - definately tasty - and no English on the bottle so I have no clue what it was called.
Upon my return home,
I began on the bi-weekly attempt to creatively use up the contents of the organics box before it takes an all-natural, preservative-free turn for the worse. I succeeded with the main course of my dinner, however when I pulled out the strawberries that I had been so excited to see on Thursday, most were already covered with a thin layer of greenish mold. There was one small mold-free berry that I washed and consumed immediately. They were wonderful, but gone - in less than 48 hours.
Inspired by Rachel at Fresh Catering, I re-created her recipe for Miso-Glazed Baked Eggplant along with my own garlic braised spinach for a healthy, light dinner (in anticipation for the Korean feast tonight). I did not make many changes to the posted recipe - although next time I would double the recipe for the miso glaze just to be sure that there was enough to go around. I was left with a few naked rounds of eggplant because I ran out of the glaze too soon, but even with a few left-out pieces there was plenty. I used the savoy spinach from the vegetable box and washed it thoroughly. I heated 2T olive oil over medium-high heat in a thick-bottomed saucepan and quickly sauteed three cloves of thinly sliced garlic. Once the garlic was softened a bit (not more than two minutes), I added the spinach leaves and covered the pan. The water stuck to the leaves from washing was enough to steam the spinach over the next 5-6 minutes. Once steamed I uncovered the pan and let the excess liquid evaporate away and then mixed in salt, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste. I thought the combination of the baked eggplant and spinach was quite nice, the freshness of the spinach cut through the glaze, which I found to be a bit rich - definately a keeper (especially now that I have a large container of white miso in the fridge).

I was still craving strawberries for dessert, even though my own supply had hit the skids. I did go get more - they were the perfect compliment to some vanilla gelato after soaking in a bit of dark rum (nothing specific - just a little dark rum, a pinch of turbinado sugar and the sliced strawberries soaking in the refrigerator for 2 hours or so - don't forget to add a bit of the liquid to the gelato along with the berries, it's the best part).
I have found a few more recipes for meals this week that should use up most of what I received in my box last week. I'm hoping they come out as nicely as this combination did. ~Lissa

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

I obviously had the pleasure of eating this meal described, and well...yum. Eggplant can be light depending on how it's cooked, but the miso glaze adds enough to the eggplant to make it a full dish. And with the spinach...well, you had me at garlic and olive oil.