I’m sneaking this next recipe in.. just before it starts to really cool down. I think it kind of should have by now, considering that we’re halfway through November. But hey, you certainly won’t find me complaining about the long days of sunshine and warmth. I found these tiny Fairy Tale Eggplants just the other day, and I had to buy them because they were so cute. I really can’t help it. When food is miniature, I fall instantly in love and want to buy eat, eat it and hold it in my hand forever all at once. Eating it usually wins in the end.
I decided they should be roasted, with a miso-tahini glaze. Sweet, salty, umami, creamy goodness. Spruced up by some lovely green onions and sesame seeds.
6-8 Fairy tale eggplants, or 2 medium Japanese eggplants
2 Tbsp Miso
3 Tbsp Tahini
2 tsp Mirin
A sprinkling of Sea Salt
A sprinkling of brown sugar
Sesame seeds, black and/or white for garnish
Green onions, bias sliced for garnish
1. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Peel if desired. Score the cut half lightly with a knife. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit, scored side up for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Wipe salt and any liquid accumulation off of the eggplants. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15-30 minutes. Timing will depend on the size of your eggplants. Bake until they are nicely softened, but watch closely so they don’t burn.
3. While the eggplants are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together miso, tahini, mirin and a sprinkling of sea salt and brown sugar. Whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. (Flavor will vary slightly depending on the type of miso you use) If you prefer the glaze a little sweeter, add more brown sugar. Note that the roasted eggplant will add some sweetness to the final dish.
4. Remove eggplants from oven when they are nice and soft and slightly caramelized. Set oven to Broil and pour glaze over the top of the eggplants. Broil 5-8 minutes, or until just crispy brown.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with garnishes. The scallions add a great touch to this dish.
If you make this with tiny eggplants, they make for an incredible appetizer. Otherwise, they can be an entree of their own.
And you’re probably wondering… what’s the scoop on all this Facebook talk? Starting in 2016, you won’t find the Dynamic Shallot Facebook page anymore. You see, a while ago, I deleted my personal Facebook page for close to 2 years. And I loved every Facebook-free moment. I had all the usual concerns when I first left – how would I stay in touch with all these people that I rarely talk to? How will I know what’s happening in the world? And of course, won’t I be going through withdrawals? Indeed it did feel strange when I first disabled my account. I felt disconnected and aloof. And there were some psychological “withdrawals.” It felt odd not knowing what everyone was up to, or what they all thought of the latest piece of national news. But I slowly got used to it, and loved the freedom of not having to care. I didn’t have to look at (only) the best moments of everyone’s lives. And I stayed in touch easily with the people that I really wanted to have in my life on a daily basis.
This past year, I decided to create a Dynamic Shallot Facebook page. I have no regrets about it. I enjoyed sharing my food photos with everyone, and overall found it to be a positive and welcoming virtual “atmosphere.” The downside for me: You have to have a personal page in order to have a business page. And suddenly, there I was, again, back on Facebook. And despite creating a completely new personal page, I still felt the weight of seeing everyone at their best. Of being forced to look into all the most perfect moments of people’s lives. People I don’t talk to daily. Constantly being connected to a large group of people I otherwise wouldn’t be in touch with, and constantly seeing only the best moments of their lives, makes it just a little bit harder to practice gratitude for what I have. I’m not saying Facebook makes me ungrateful, or that I don’t want to see the happy moments in my friends’ lives. And I’m not saying that if you’re my Facebook friend, I don’t want to talk to you! I’m saying that in this odd world of virtual transparency that we find ourselves in, sometimes you have to know when to take a break. And so, starting in 2016, I’ll be taking a break. Indefinitely. If you want to find me in the virtual realm, I’ll still be on Twitter (although I don’t understand ANY of the abbreviations being used) and Instagram (because my feed is full of food porn and inspirational people and quotes). And of course, here.
It was a difficult decision to make. But as we move toward a holiday revolving around gratitude, I realized I want my life to be about finding gratitude. And finding joy. What that looks like is different for each of us. To all of you who have interacted with me on my personal or Dynamic Shallot Facebook pages, thank you – and let’s stay in touch. The good ole fashioned way. I’m looking forward to it.
Soundtrack: Ice Age (Deadmau5 Remix). By: Deadmau5.