Roast Aubergine with Miso & Harissa

roast-aubergine-with-miso-harissaWhen my son turned 16, a few of us met up in a Japanese restaurant in Soho to celebrate. The group included his best friend whom he has known since they were 6  years old and who rather sweetly, follows this blog on Facebook! Jake loves sushi and will devour plates of the otoro (slices of tuna belly) whenever he gets the chance. I prefer salmon sashimi and love it “spicy” but, I digress. Not everyone enjoys raw fish with the unbridled enthusiasm shown by my son, so we decided on a restaurant based on the traditional Japanese Izakaya or food centred around grilled skewers plus sides and salads. And it is all about the grill at Bincho Yakitori – the air is thick with the mouth-watering smell off the brazier and the charming staff in this sleek, modern restaurant are terribly helpful even as they cope with a midweek restaurant full of  clamouring diners. The grilled skewers of meat and fish were gorgeous but the knockout dish for me was the  Nasu Miso Dengaku or Japanese Aubergine with Sweet Miso. Those skinny pale purple aubergines are sliced in half, scored, grilled, smeared with THE most delicious miso paste and grilled again – we ordered a few rounds of those!

roast-aubergine-with-miso-harissaSpurred on by the unopened jar of Miso paste in my pantry and a pot of homemade harissa paste from a local deli, this is my take on them – to be honest, they were nothing like them but are delicious nonetheless. Meltingly savoury with a little kick from the harissa paste, it makes a nice change from Parmigiana!! Serve them with a little pile of steamed rice and a salad with a gingery, sesame seed oil dressing. You can have one or two slices as a light starter or double up on the quantities and have them as a main course perhaps with some teriyaki chicken or salmon…

roast-aubergine-with-miso-harissa

roast-aubergine-with-miso-harissa

roast-aubergine-with-miso-harissa

Roast Aubergine with Miso & Harissa

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large firm and glossy aubergine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp harissa (or to suit your palate)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar (it’s a little sweeter than normal)
  • Coriander leaves, sesame seeds and sliced red chilies to garnish – optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Slice the aubergine lengthways into ½ cm slices. I got 7 slices out of mine.
  3. Brush one side of each slice with a little olive oil and place oiled side down on a baking tray.
  4. Mix the miso, harissa, honey and rice vinegar to combine.
  5. Divide the miso mixture between the aubergine slices and using the back of a spoon, spread over each slice to cover with the paste.
  6. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets and how thick/thin you have sliced the aubergine. The flesh should be very soft – almost melting.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves, sesame seeds and flecks of chill and serve warm with some rice and a green salad, dressed with a little sesame oil, grated ginger and rice vinegar.

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76 thoughts on “Roast Aubergine with Miso & Harissa

  1. Happy Birthday to Jake!
    I also have an unopened jar of Miso, so thank you for this post – now I know what to do with it!
    I love aubergines and am really looking forward to trying this recipe!
    Emma :-)

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  2. Lovely Selma, gosh what did we do without Harissa? I must confess though, not sure I’ve ever had miso paste in my pantry. It’s amazing how much one’s palate gets introduced to all these fabulous flavors thanks to cooking enthusiasts and blogging! :) I’ll have to give this a go too!

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    • Hi Loretta! I have a wonderful local deli who make and sell really gorgeous harissa – I might include in my next IMK post! We are actually quite lucky to be able to buy these rather exotic things so easily now – when we moved to Canada in the mid ’70’s coriander leaves were a rare, expensive and rather elusive item…how things have changed!

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  3. This looks delicious and I will definitely be trying it. I use Miso paste to smear onto salmon before grilling it and that is delicious too! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Selma, I will absolutely love your aubergine recipe. I have been using harissa quite a bit lately, I love it! Your plate is a perfect meal for me. Your son sounds a bit like my 16 year old son…however, he breaks the bank when we take him out for sushi. :)

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    • Sushi needs deep pockets! I really have to rein Jake in sometimes even though it goes against every grain and every moral fibre in my body to deny him food!! I just don’t think that teenage appetites and sushi are match made anywhere near heaven!!

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  5. I have no doubt I will like this. Just need to substitute the harissa with something else for hubby, he just can’t take spicy. The photos, by the way, are very elegant. I love how you set up the table and take the shot from up above.

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    • Angie, if you click on the link for Nasu Miso Dengaku in my post, it should take you to the recipe that the restaurant uses – I think both you and your hubby will like that – it really is delicious. The overhead shots are because i am still shooting with my iPhone and ¾ shots can look awkwardly angled – I will graduate to a grown up camera one day….!!!

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    • It’s quite a way down Old Compton St – much further than I had expected but I believe that they have a branch in the Oxo Tower as well. Go with a few people so that you can try out the amazing menu!

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  6. Apsara – thanks so much! Chilli sauce would be a perfectly good substitute – just keep tasting and adjusting as you go along. Miso is quite salty so you have to balance the flavours a little.

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  7. Beautiful dish and flavours, I just need to pop out to get some miso paste. We have eaten very creamy fish pie for the past few nights, so this would be the exact kind of thing we fancy! Emailed to myself – thank you x

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    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I really like aubergines as well but my son won’t touch them – says it is a texture thing – so I only ever seem to cook aubergines when I have friends round. I was really hoping to change my son’t mind with these but he wouldn’t even try a bit!

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    • Ella and Louis come to mind – you say tomayto and I say tomato….I used to call them eggplants when I lived in Canada but I’ve been here for a long time now and also refer to the sidewalk as a pavement and the car trunk as the boot…something I thought I would never do!!

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  8. Pingback: Roast Aubergine with Miso & Harissa Spurred on... | BlogMyLunch

  9. Pingback: A Tribute to Selma: Wholemeal Sourdough Loaf | Bread and Tortillas

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