Fire up the grills and declare your independence from meat!
Vegetarians and those trying to eat less meat need no longer feel left out when America celebrates its birthday with the outdoor barbecue feasts that have become the hallmark of this holiday. Create your own fireworks by grilling vegetables; they take on an entirely new taste taste on the grill.
The delicious Teriyaki Marinade is the key to the success of this dish:
2 medium-large eggplants, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds total
Teriyaki Marinade, as needed (see below)
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup sake or white wine
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 to 2 cloves crushed or minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Combine all ingredients in a small container. Let stand until the sugar is dissolved.
Slice the eggplants 1/2 inch thick and peel. Salt thenm and let stand in a colander for 30 minutes, then rinse well.
Prepare the grill. Brush the egpplant slices generously on both sides with Teriyaki Marinade. Grill on each side until nicely browned and tender (5 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on the coals.) Remove and let cool slightly on a cutting surface. Cut into strips and place in a serving container. Stir in the scallions. Add enough additional Teriyaki Sauce to moisten and flavor the eggplant to taste. Sprinkle the top with the red pepper dice and sesame seeds.