Eggplants are in season and that means I tend to want to grill steaks or chicken and eat tons of grilled eggplant with miso butter on the side. I can get a meal like this on the table in under a half hour and it takes like heaven so what's not to like? Well, I suppose it's not a super healthy option, but that just means I'll have it once a week instead of every other day!
I do not recommend using large eggplants for this dish. Just grill those babies up, peel the skin off, and make Baba Ganouj — hint: grilled eggplant works just as well, if not better, than roasted eggplant. However, the light purple hued Chinese eggplant that tends to show up regularly in our CSA boxes this time of the year is just absolutely perfect. I just slice them in half, cut deep criss-cross patterns into (but not through) them, toss them on the grill, and slather them with miso butter when they are done. Oh - make more miso butter than you think you'll want. Trust me, it still won't be enough!
Since I already have the grill going, I like to have these tasty eggplants alongside my favorite grilled meat. Steak, chicken, and pork tend to be readily available and my go-tos, but lamb and seafood can also work well. And heck, just add more veggies and you could easily have vegetarian heaven on your hands!
- 2 small eggplants (such as the Chinese eggplant featured in the photos above), sliced in half lengthwise
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons white miso paste
Using a sharp paring knife, slice a hash pattern into the cut side of the eggplant, taking care not to pierce through to the outer skin. I used a repeating cross pattern, but any pattern that leaves grooves in the eggplant flesh will work.
Stir the butter and miso paste together to form a salty compound butter. Set aside.
Grill the eggplant, skin side down, on a grill with medium coals or medium gas setting until the flesh is soft; about 6-8 minutes for most small eggplants. Remove from the grill and immediately spread the miso butter generously over the hot eggplant. After the butter has melted into the eggplant, feel free to slather more on. Serve warm next to your favorite grilled foods.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes