Grilled Chinese Eggplant with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Vodka, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar are some of the surprising ingredients of this East-meets-West appetizer, garnished with diced tomatoes combined with Bloody Mary mix.
- Asian eggplants - 4
- Soybean oil or olive oil - 1/4 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Vodka or Gin - 1 tablespoon
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Fresh Ginger - 1 tablespoon, finely shredded
- Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Soybean or Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
- Seasoned Tomato
- Whole Tomatoes - 2, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Bloody Mary mix - 1/4 cup
- Fresh lemon juice - 2 tablespoons
- Fresh Cilantro - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Radishes - 8, with leaves
- Fresh cilantro sprigs - optional
Halve the eggplants lengthwise, and score the skin surface with 1/2 inch wide crosshatching cuts, going halfway through the thickness. Then cut the halves in sections on a diagonal, 2-inches long.
In a shallow dish, combine the oil, soy sauce, and vodka or gin, and marinate the eggplant at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the broiler with a heavy baking pan under it. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant from the marinade to the pan. Broil until the eggplant is soft and tender, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes.
To make the balsamic vinaigrette: Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and combine with a wire whisk.
To make the seasoned tomato: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together.
To serve: Divide the eggplant, cut-side up, among the serving plates and top each piece with some of the balsamic vinaigrette and tomato mixture. Garnish each plate with radishes and cilantro sprigs.