- SERVINGS: 8
This is one of Robert Rauschenberg's favorite vegetable dishes, and Hisachika Takahashi makes it whenever Bob is in New York.
- 4 medium eggplants, sliced crosswise 1 1/2 inches thick
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup sake
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons miso
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a small sharp knife, make 1/4-inch-deep crisscrossed slashes in the center of the fleshy part of each slice of eggplant; take care not to cut through the skin so the slices remain intact. Lightly brush the eggplant with oil and season with salt and black pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the eggplant slices in batches and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side; add more oil as needed. Transfer the eggplant to a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until meltingly tender. Remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
- While the eggplant roasts, combine the sake, mirin, sugar, miso and cayenne in a small saucepan and cook over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
- Generously brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the sake-miso glaze. Broil for about 1 minute per side, shifting the pan for even browning; the slices should be sizzling and caramelized. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and kept at room temperature for up to 6 hours. Don't brush the eggplant with the sake-miso glaze until just before broiling.