From the Garden: Chef Saul's Recipe for Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Grilled Japanese Eggplant with Green Tahini Sauce

6 Japanese Eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned well with kosher salt
4 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
4 Tbsp Italian long chilis, sliced
¼ cup mint leaves, torn by hand just before serving     
¼ cup sriracha
¼ sake
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
2/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup water
2 cups soft herbs (any combination of parsley, cilantro, mint, chives and dill)
Salt to taste

Combine sriracha, sake, lime juice, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and honey. Whisk well and set aside.

Using a food processor, combine tahini, water and garlic. Process until smooth. If too thick, add water. Add soft herbs and process for 30 seconds. Season with salt to taste.

On a preheated grill (charcoal or gas), place the eggplant cut side down on the grill. You want good grill marks on the eggplant which means you will be cooking about 90% on the cut side. When you have achieved the proper char, turn and cook for about 2 minutes more on the skin side.

Remove from the grill and let cool to room temp. Now cut the eggplant on the bias in two-inch pieces. Spoon some green tahini sauce on the bottom of the serving platter. Arrange the eggplant on the platter and spoon the chili sauce over the grilled surfaces of the eggplant and sprinkle with sesame seeds, sliced hot chilis and the hand-torn mint. Serve.

Recipe by Chef Saul Bolton