Grilled eggplant steaks are the perfect vegan barbecue side dish!
We came back from a weekend camping trip in the mountains feeling blissful and rejuvenated. No cellular service, no sense of time, no worries. Even though we got unlucky with some rain, we had a fantastic time goofing off with our friends and admiring the calm lake and the surrounding mountains.
They say you can’t choose your family, but it’s the happiest feeling when your friends become your second family. Our ‘Castle Fam’ will literally drive miles for each other and feel perfectly content doing nothing much together. On a rainy day, we stayed in our toasty sleeping bags until lake morning and played ‘the log game’. That’s when we’d roll around the roomy tent to dog-pile on top of one another in our bags while cackling with laughter. On a hot and sunny day, we took a bunch of floaties to a lake and used them as diving/jumping goals or as ‘kayaks’. At nightfall, we’d toast marshmallows over our hot pot stove (in lieu of a campfire), share testimonies, and swap embarrassing stories about ourselves in grade school (well some of us did and others would not spill many beans). Whether we’re listening to a mishmash of rap, Disney, and Jesus music in the car, running around Whistler village searching for dinner and ice cream, laughing about how we haven’t changed for 3 days, or taking a brisk walk to see plummeting waterfalls, I treasure every moment with these people. Sorry for waking everyone up with my yelling when something walked across our campsite.
Since it was too cold to jump into the lake and we didn’t have a campfire to tend to (campfire ban, sigh) we split our time between keeping warm in our sleeping bag cocoons and cooking. Being the resident veg-heads and food bloggers, we fed our friends lots of veggies. The grilled veggie pizza we made for them was more vegetables than crust and our wraps were stuffed to the brim with fresh Greek salad or even more grilled veggies. Two vegetables that we always throw onto the grill are zucchini and eggplant.
Grilling the eggplant is simple; grease a barbecue grill and sear until charred. This recipe is really about the sauce because without any seasoning, yes I agree eggplant is bland. Our miso maple tahini sauce is a staple in our cooking repertoire. We’ve used it to dress leafy greens, toss pasta salads, drizzle over buddha bowls, spread it on toast, and of course, top these eggplant steaks! It’s a true multi-purpose sauce that everyone loves. I had a DIY toast bar at my birthday party last year and this was the sauce my friends were raving about.
Throw these eggplant steaks on the grill for your next barbecue meal! It can be served on a platter as a side dish or as a creative veggie burger patty. Veggie friends will be glad there’s food on the table for them and carnivores will be surprised at how good eggplant can be.
- 1 medium or large globe eggplant, cut into ½" thick rounds
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp miso
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- Cold water, as needed
- Sesame seeds (black and/or white) for garnish
- 2 sprigs of green onion, thinly sliced
- Heat a barbecue grill to about 400°F on high heat. Grease the grill before arranging the eggplant rounds onto the grill. Cook over high heat until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side in the same way. You may need to press down on the eggplant to get a good sear. Remove eggplant from grill once cooked.
- To make the sauce, stir the tahini, maple syrup, miso, sesame oil, and rice vinegar together until smooth. The rice vinegar will cause the sauce to seize so add cold water (must be cold!) one teaspoon at a time until the sauce reaches desired consistency; I like mine to be ribbon consistency. Adjust sourness, sweetness, saltiness as needed.
- Spread about half a tablespoon of sauce onto the top of each eggplant round. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion and serve while hot.