While still overseeing the kitchen at Sassafraz on Cumberland, peripatetic chef Greg Couillard is finally writing a book. No, not a sordid tell-all, a late-80s tale à la Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential of sex, drugs and hissy fits, but a deluxe coffee-table cookbook. He's spending the winter compiling his previously unpublished recipes for Whitecap at Flesherton's Silver Springs Culinary Retreat, where he'll also be preparing special dinners (info: 1-800-546-5601). Here's a deliciously simple - and simply delicious - vegan preview.
Fall Vegetable Mandala with Yakitore Glaze
1 medium Japanese eggplant, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
1 each sweet red and yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into triangles
2 each whole portobello, large shiitake and king oyster mushrooms
1 butternut squash (neck only), cut into 1/4-inch-thick circles, blanched and patted dry
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
In a jar, combine grilling sauce ingredients. Brush onto vegetables regularly as they grill on a barbecue or stovetop grill. Mix the glaze in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it thickens. To plate, arrange the veggies in a mandala fan shape and paint with glaze. Garnish with green onion.