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Roasted Eggplant with Miso Lime Dressing

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I thought that I was pretty unbiased in my appreciation of vegetables. But I realized that I really just want to cook with cauliflower and brussels sprouts, again and again, every week. They are the first vegetables that come to mind no matter what new dish I am brainstorming. Rarely am I inspired by cabbage, beets, bell peppers, or eggplant.

So I’ve been aiming to change my ways. Get out of my vegetable comfort zone and expand my gustatory horizon. And that’s how we got here. I am pretty certain that I love eggplant in the right context – soft and spicy and stir-fried with basil at a Thai restaurant, or in eggplant parmesan, of course, that cheese-burdened but deeply delicious staple of childhood dinners at Italian restaurants. But it’s been years since I’ve considered preparing it at home. And perhaps that is because I have failed with eggplant and that failure has resulted in a bitter dish that left a terrible feeling in the tummy. No wonder!

This time I was determined to have an eggplant win. I recalled the tangy miso dressing from Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse and had a suspicion that it would be a great ally atop some slow-roasted eggplant. And it was. So much so that I ate more of this in one sitting than I’d like to admit. Salty, faintly sweet, with the smoky flavors of sesame oil and the bright pucker of rice vinegar and lime, it’s the perfect foil for soft, creamy eggplant. Finish with fresh cilantro and some spicy togaroshi (a Japanese condiment of chili and sesame) and you’ve got a hefty, gratifying dish.

Roasted Eggplant with Miso Lime Dressing
Dressing inspired by Bon Appetit
Serves 4

1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons white miso

chopped fresh cilantro
togaroshi, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the dressing. Whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, lime juice and zest and water. Next, blend miso with the ingredients, using a fork to mash and then form into a paste.

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Pierce the surface with a fork. Spoon the dressing liberally over the eggplant.

Roast until eggplant is falling-apart tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with cilantro and togaroshi, if desired.

When eating, it’s best to mix together the miso dressing with the tender eggplant beneath to distribute the salty miso flavors.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - I’d never thought to pair the two, but that dressing just sounds like it would make such a wonderful accompaniment to the eggplant.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - WOW. Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables (so much so, that I can easily eat a whole eggplant by myself in one sitting). I’m always trying to get Matt to eat more eggplant and I think this is gonna be it. I have some white miso and cilantro in my fridge. This is getting made pronto! So lovely to see you last night!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - hmmm.. I am like you in that I don’t branch out from my veggies and eggplant has been one of those things that I just can’t seem to fall in love with. Once eggplant season hits here, I’ll try this though! It sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Mmm this sounds delightful!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole @Eat This Poem - I have similar issues with eggplant. Still haven’t mustered up much courage to try anything new with it lately, though I’m always on the hunt for recipes to tuck away for when I’m feeling adventurous.ReplyCancel

  • Kristie V. - I love eggplant and can’t wait to try this! The flavors sound perfect and it’s healthful, too!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Ann - I must try this! It looks/sounds delicious! Your photos are so lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Kankana - i love roasted eggplant but wow .. this is like a whole new level of roasted eggplant. Miso lime dressing!! so tempted to try.ReplyCancel

  • Sharyn Dimmick - I like eggplant. I usually make it into baba ghanoush or stir-fry it Chinese-style with ginger or cube it into marinara with some garlic and chile flakes. But your dressing sounds good. I’ll save it to make in summer/fall when eggplants are here. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - I commend your adventurous spirit–and the willpower it takes to look for new inspiration when trusty favorites are standing by! Also: I love the simplicity of that top photo, and the char on the eggplant’s surface.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - I admire the beauty of purple eggplant, but hardly ever cook it, and I think that needs to change. This is a lovely way to begin!ReplyCancel

  • Sasha - You have inspired me to also get out of my vegetable comfort zone!

    A bit over a year ago I went to Israel where I ate more eggplant in a week than I probably had my entire life. Most often I ate it simply roasted with a generous heaping of tahini. I was hooked and I promised myself that upon returning to my kitchen I would cook and eat eggplant more often. Sure enough, I roasted it once and then ate it with lots and lots of tahini only to then return to my vegetable comfort zone.

    I have everything in my kitchen for the miso lime dressing, now I’ll just have to buy some eggplant (and get into the habit of doing so). I am looking forward to reuniting with eggplant. Thanks for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • ileana - This looks beautiful! I’ll have to try it. My veg obsessions: kale, beets, and brussels sprouts. I rarely ate eggplant, but recently made a very delicious eggplant dish. You check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/6sqb47gReplyCancel

  • Willa - YUM! I think eggplant for me is like cauliflower for you. I think about eggplant every time recipe planning happens. I’ve never tried a miso with eggplant combo. You’ve inspired me!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I used to be kinda meh on eggplant too. And people were always giving it to me as the token vegetarian alternative! Eggplant and miso are good buddies though- good introductory tactic on an iffy vegetable. Roasting slices of it with beautiful summer tomatoes, salt, tons of olive oil and thyme is pretty choice too.ReplyCancel

  • dramatic pancake - I am such an eggplant fan so this is right up my alley! I tend to pair it with tomato-based dressings and such, but the miso lime sounds like such a refreshing change!ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - I had an eggplant fail, too, and vowed to try again, soon. Thanks for the inspiration to get back on the horse!ReplyCancel

  • Anna @ the shady pine - I adore roasted eggplant and the flavours here sound great!ReplyCancel

  • Cookie + Kate - Eggplant has never looked so appetizing to me. I decided this fall that I’m just not that into eggplant, but this is tempting me to give it another chance!ReplyCancel

  • debra - adding the lime was pure inspiration! My new favorite eggplant dish!ReplyCancel

  • Erica - I discovered your website today and I love it! The photography is gorgeous and I love your vegetarian recipes.
    I’m a bit fan of eggplant- my Eastern Euro mum crumbs sliced eggplant and then fries it. Absolutely my fav way to eat eggplant. Not the healthiest but the yummiestReplyCancel

  • Eggplant, Unexpectedly | Blogeats - […] I picked for sharing here was a roasted eggplant with a miso-lime dressing. The original post in its entirety is here. I liked it because it was something I wanted to eat, of course, but also because there was […]ReplyCancel

  • 50 Ways To Feed Your Lover, Part 2 - Defining Delicious - […] This eggplant. click HERE (thanks, Pinterest). (photo credit: The Year in […]ReplyCancel

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