Miso Butternut Squash Soup, Spicy Glazed Eggplant, Stir-fried Bok Choy and Cabbage, Brown Rice

By Jennifer

Miso Butternut Squash Soup, Spicy Glazed Eggplant, Stir-fried Bok Choy and Cabbage, Brown Rice

Miso-Butternut Squash Soup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, New York Times Magazine

I will confess, the first time I made this, I used fresh butternut squash;  this time, I already had steamed and pureed squash from a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture, i.e. local farm subscription) overflow in the freezer and used that.  In this case, I sauteed the leeks alone, then added the garlic and ginger, then added the defrosted frozen squash and water.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced length-wise, then chopped, and rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve
  • 2 TBS peanut oil or coconut oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4” piece of fresh ginger, bark removed, and chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup miso

Garlic and ginger

Thank goodness for mini-food processors

Process garlic and ginger in a mini food processor.

Washing chopped leeks

Leeks in the pot, softened

Heat the peanut oil in a large pot over medium heat;  add the leeks and squash and cook for about 5 minutes.  If you already have cooked squash like I do, then don’t add it with the leeks but with the water.

Adding ginger and garlic to leeks

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.

Adding squash and water

Add the water (and squash if already cooked and pureed) and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

Miso…you can pick which kind you use

Whisking 1 cup liquid with miso

Take 1 cup of liquid out of the pot and add it to the miso in a small bowl;  whisk well.  Pour the miso mixture into the soup pot.

About to puree soup with immersion blender

Puree, either using an immersion blender, or in batches using a standing blender, pouring the puree into a clean bowl.

Entertaining tip:  This can be made earlier in the day and gently reheated when it’s time to eat.

Spicy Glazed Eggplant

Spicy Glazed Eggplant is ready to serve

Adapted from Gourmet magazine

The original recipe called for Japanese seven-spice powder (shichimi togarashi), which I could not find (although if I still lived in Chicago I could have bought some at The Spice House!), so I settled for a dash of cayenne pepper.  Either way, it was delicious, and even my husband, not a huge eggplant fan, had seconds.

  • 1 1/4 lb. eggplant, ideally Asian, otherwise the longest/thinnest Italian eggplant you can find, trimmed, halved or quartered lengthwise depending on size, then cut diagonally into 1 1/2” pieces
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 TBS mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated peeled ginger (use a box grater or Microplane)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 3 TBS peanut oil
  • 1 TBS finely chopped chives (I use kitchen scissors)

Eggplant and salt in a colander

Toss the eggplant and kosher salt together in a large colander and let sit in your sink for 45 minutes.

Eggplant after 8 minutes of stir-frying

Rinse well in cold water, and dry very well using a clean kitchen towel.

Sauce ingredients for eggplant are ready

In a small bowl combine the mirin, soy sauce, ginger and cayenne pepper.

Eggplant after 8 minutes of stir-frying

Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Stir-fry the eggplant until browned, about 8 minutes.

Eggplant now glazed with sauce

Add the mirin mixture and stir-fry for another minute or so, until the eggplant is glazed and tender.

Spicy Glazed Eggplant is ready to serve

Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with the chives.

Entertaining tip:  The eggplant can be prepared earlier in the day and kept in the fridge until cooking time.  If you like, you can cook the eggplant up to 2 hours prior to serving;  sprinkle on the chives just before serving.

Stir-fried Bok Choy and Cabbage

Adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 lb. bok choy, trimmed, cut lengthwise in thirds, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 lb. Savoy or Napa cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 3 TBS. peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted

Bok choy is ready

Savoy cabbage is ready

Heat a wok or 12” heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly.  Pour the oil down the side of the skillet and swirl it around the pan.

Garlic sizzling in the pan

Add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds.

Adding the bok choy and cabbage

Add the bok choy, cabbage and sea salt and stir-fry about 5 – 6 minutes, until the cabbage is crisp-tender.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Cabbage is ready

Serve drizzled with sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Entertaining tip:  You can clean and chop the greens earlier in the day and store in the fridge.  About an hour before company comes, slice the garlic and keep in a small bowl, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge.  Sesame seeds can be stored in the freezer until the next time you need them.

Company Coming! 
For appetizers, you can serve the Edamame and Spinach Nori Rolls.

Spinach nori rolls and edamame

Hot fudge sundae, anyone


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