This recipe is really all about the dressing, which turns just about any humble vegetable into a showstopping, entertaining-worthy dish (so far, I’ve tried on asparagus and sugar snap peas in addition to this concoction, and they’ve all been transportive.) I adapted the dressing from an asparagus & portobello salad in Gwyneth’s new cookbook, and the variety of veggies I used in this version was inspired by the bumper crop of peppers and eggplant in this week’s CSA box. I’m already looking forward to experimenting with a “fall” version made with completely different farmers market ingredients! This would be a perfect side dish served alongside meat or fish, but I decided to make ours a super healthy meal by serving the vegetables over quinoa, and pouring a little extra dressing and several squeezes of fresh lime over the top. The sweet-meets-salty, sesame & soy flavors are completely addictive – trust me when I say you’re going to want to pour it over everything. Bonus points for being vegan (and it’s gluten-free too, if you sub out the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari!) Keep reading for the recipe.
Eggplant, Peppers & Shiitake with Soy Dressing
*serves 3 as a main course, 6 as a side
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon rice wine
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 pound sweet peppers, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1″ wide strips, 3″ long
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced into 1-inch strips
- black sesame seeds, lime wedges and fresh cilantro, for garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together the first nine ingredients. Set aside, and let shallot soak in the vinaigrette for 20 minutes or so to mellow.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until golden. Add peppers, eggplant and shittakes, then add 2 tablespoons water to pan and cover. Cook, covered for 10 minutes until vegetables start to soften.
- Uncover pan and crank up heat to medium high. Cook, tossing occasionally for another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
- Transfer to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro leaves and serve.
*photos by Camille