A few folks have mentioned that sometimes the ingredients I use are too strange, or not something most people would have in their pantry. I admit that’s true, but that’s one of the things I love about cooking - constantly learning, and experimenting with new things. Almost every non-perishable ingredient that can’t be gotten in any grocery store, you can get from Amazon. But if not, I’ll always mention where I get something that you might be in the mood to have fun with.
I had a few little eggplants left in my garden and played around with this recipe to use them up. I think eggplant goes very well in slightly sweet applications, and if you’ve never tried miso and bacon together - please do!
2 small eggplant
3 slices bacon
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup white miso paste
2 tablespoons mirin*
(*Dissolve 1 tablespoon brown sugar in 1 tablespoon warm water as a substitute)
Preheat oven to 425°. Cook bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in miso and mirin.
Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a paring knife, score cut sides in a crosshatch pattern, deeply if the eggplants are fairly large. Brush cut sides with the oil, dividing evenly, then spread bacon-miso mixture over each half. Place on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.
Roast eggplant until tender and lightly browned, 20–25 minutes. My favorite part of this dish adds texture and added flavor - crispy shallots and garlic chips: shown below.
Thinly slice one shallot. Do the same with 3-4 cloves of garlic. Place the shallots in a very small saucepan (so you don’t waste oil), and add enough vegetable oil to just cover.
Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often with a fork to encourage rings to separate, until shallots are golden brown, 20–25 minutes. (Keep an eye on them; once they start to brown they’ll darken fast.)
Retrieve shallots with a strainer or slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Season with salt and let cool.
While the oil is still hot, drop in the garlic slices - they cook quickly! Take them out as soon as they get a bit golden.
This would be great as a side dish but one half was a wonderful dinner with a small side salad.