Miso glazed aubergine and black rice salad

This salad is one of my absolute favourites to make for lunch on the go, although it is equally good eaten as a side dish alongside steamed or grilled fish.  As the recipe serves 4, I often make the full amount and keep three portions in tightly sealed pots in the fridge to pop in my bag as I need them.  Like this, the salad keeps for three days.  Although the dressing will wilt the leaves, the flavours deepen with time - a pretty good pay-off, i'd say.

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Serves 4, or 6 as a side dish

Ingredients

For the miso glazed aubergine

  • 2 aubergines (about 330g uncooked)
  • 1 tbsp of white miso
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger

For the salad

  • 320g black rice
  • 20g toasted sesame seeds
  • 170g edamame beans
  • 260g Chinese leaf
  • 1 red chilli

For the dressing

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp light soy
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated ginger

 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan)
  2. Take a vegetable peeler and peel 4 or 5 strips off each aubergine, leaving them pleasingly stripy.  Slice the aubergine into 1 cm discs.
  3. Score one side of each slice with diagonal lines a few cm apart and then repeat until you have a cross-hatch pattern.
  4. Place the aubergines on a baking sheet and bake for approx 30 minutes, until roasted and soft.  Check after 20 minutes, as you don't want them to dry out.
  5. In the mean time, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
  6. Mix the glaze ingredients except the ginger together in a small pan and heat until the miso has dissolved and it comes to a gentle bubble.  Remove from the heat and stir in the ginger.
  7. When the aubergines are ready and cool enough to handle, brush the glaze onto both sides of the discs using a pastry brush.
  8. Drain and rinse the rice to cool it down.
  9. Blanch the edamame beens in boiling water for about 4 minutes (from frozen), then plunge them into cold water and drain.
  10. Finely slice the chilli.
  11. Finely shred the Chinese leaf.
  12. Lightly whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Taste for seasoning, adjust with a little more soy or vinegar to taste.
  13. Mix all the salad ingredients together in a bowl with the aubergine.
  14. Dress the salad and serve.