Guest Author - Chidori Phillips
Grilled eggplant is a versatile vegetable that tastes great with any type of marinade or basting sauce. These are among my favorite.
Carmelized Onion-Balsamic Basting Sauce
The sweetness of carmelized onions and reduced balsamic vinegar intensify the flavors of this wonderful basting sauce. You can add olive oil to make a delicious salad dressing with this, too. I created this as a dressing but found it works really well as a basting sauce for grilled vegetables. If you plan to use it on meats, brush it on at the last minute or the sugars tend to burn.
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. natural sea salt
black pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onions and stir to coat. Continue to cook onions until they are carmelized and reach a nutty brown color. This can take about 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and allow it to reduce until it thickens slightly. (Coat the back of a spoon with the mixture and run a finger through it. If your finger leaves a trail, it’s thick enough.) Taste it and add salt and pepper to your preferences.
Grill eggplant and other sliced vegetables. Brush on balsamic sauce toward the end of the cooking time.
*I like to add some olive oil to this sauce and serve it warm over mixed greens.
Miso Yaki Sauce
Miso yaki sauce for grilling is different than the miso yaki coating used for broiling. It is thinner so you can brush it over sliced vegetables.
½ cup miso paste (your choice of type)
¾ cup dashi
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
Blend all ingredients and brush onto sliced eggplant while grilling over hot coals.
Teriyaki Sauce for Basting
Teriyaki-grilled eggplant can scorch if the sauce is too thick and too sweet. Avoid this by marinating the eggplant slices in a thinner sauce and then thicken the sauce to brush over the cooked, grilled vegetables.
I know that my sauce tends to be sweet, but you can adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. Most people, if they don’t know the sugar content, still prefer my sweeter version!
½ cup sugar
½ soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin or cooking sake
1” slice fresh ginger
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. water
In a small saucepan, blend sugar and soy sauce over low heat. Stir and simmer until dissolved. Add ginger, garlic and mirin. Remove from heat and cool. Pour over sliced eggplant and let this marinate for at least half an hour.
Pour marinade back into the saucepan. Blend cornstarch with water and add to marinade. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir until slightly thickened. Grill eggplant, turning to cook both sides. Brush thickened marinade/sauce over cooked eggplant slices.