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Summer Vegetable Yakitori over Herbed Cauliflower Rice

Active Time: 25-30 minutes / Cook Time: 25-30 minutes / Total Time: 35-40 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • ½ cup tamari
  • ¼ cup mirin (or ¼ cup rice vinegar with 2 teaspoons honey)
  • 2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry (or 2 tablespoons rice vinegar with ½ teaspoon honey)
  • ½ tablespoon honey (reduce to 1 teaspoon if using substitutes for mirin and sake)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Yakitori:

  • 8-10 skewers, soaked in water for an hour if wooden
  • 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1” thick rounds
  • ½ lb. cremini mushrooms
  • 1 lb. summer squash, cut into 1” thick rounds
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1” squares
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1” pieces

Cauliflower Rice:

  • 1 head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed, chopped into florets
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded basil (Thai basil if you can find it)
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill* to medium-high. In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 7-8 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons for serving and the rest for marinating and basting the yakitori.
  2. Toss half of the remaining sauce with the vegetables and let marinate while you make the cauliflower rice. Blanch florets by bringing 8 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Once boiling, add florets and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and transfer in batches to a food processor. Process just until all of the florets are broken down and resemble rice. Do not over process or you will end up with more of a mashed potato consistency!
  3. Transfer rice to a mixing bowl and fold in sea salt, basil, and cilantro. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  4. Remove vegetables from marinade and thread in an alternating pattern on skewers. Press each piece close to its neighbors, leaving no gaps between vegetables. Place skewers on grill and cook, turning frequently and basting with remaining sauce occasionally, for 3-5 minutes per side, or until eggplant is tender. Watch carefully so that the sauce does not burn; reduce heat if necessary.
  5. Serve half of skewers and rice for dinner tonight, and package up the other half for lunch tomorrow.

*Yakitori can be broiled. Set oven rack 4-5 inches from flame and broil 4-5 minutes per side. Watch carefully so the marinade doesn’t burn.