eggplant in marinade

It took many an unsuccessful attempt to get a handle on cooking aubergines, those ubiquitous Barney-shaped eggplants. Not so with their Japanese kin. These slender beauties were at the farmers market this weekend in northern California, and I couldn’t have been happier. I like cutting Japanese eggplants into beef stir fries but even easier is grilling them a la Jerry Traunfeld, who dips the halves in a soy marinade, then grills over a moderate flame until silky. Finished, they’re a rich, delicious accompaniment to many Asian foods.

Grilled Eggplant with Rosemary

4 medium-sized eggplants, halved lengthwise / 3 tbls soy sauce / 3 tbls olive oil / 1 tsp rosemary, minced / 1 clove garlic, minced

Stir together soy sauce, olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Coat eggplant flesh with marinade and let rest 10 minutes. Grill eggplant halves over medium heat (about 300 degrees), flesh side down, turning after 5 minutes or so. Continue grilling until the flesh is silky, another 5-10 minutes depending on heat. Serve immediately. Feeds 4 as a side. Adapted from Jerry Traunfeld.