I’ve long forgotten the details of the conversation, but somehow eggplants came up and my mother mentioned that she liked to toss them in olive oil, soy sauce and ginger and then microwave them until tender. I still do that except I also add some garlic and sometimes Dijon mustard. This "no-recipe recipe" works fine with any eggplants from the big, dark purple ones to the long, skinny, pale Asian ones.

  • olive oil

  • soy sauce

  • ground ginger

  • crushed garlic

  • Dijon mustard (optional; try it both ways)

  • eggplant, sliced ¼-in thick

  1. In a large bowl, beat oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and mustard together. It won’t fully emulsify more than temporarily, but that’s sufficient.

  2. Add the eggplant slices and toss thoroughly.

  3. If desired, let them marinate.

  4. Place the slices in a covered, microwaveable dish and microwave on high until tender, tossing intermittently. I do it in 3-minute intervals, toss, test for doneness, and repeat. How long you’ll do this depends on how big today’s batch is.

Delicious hot out of the oven or later out of the fridge.