Aug
17
    
Posted (Lori) in News

SO MUCH EGGPLANT SO MANY RECIPES

I spoke to Deborah Kavakos a few days ago and she told me that the fields are still full of eggplant and that it’s going to keep coming. So I’ve experimenting with my own—I got a few extra last week

I deal with eggplants three ways: I roast them and use the pulp; I cube or dice them and either sauté or steam the cubes/dice; or I slice them and broil the slices. I very rarely bread them and fry them for eggplant parmesan—I think that’s a real chore.  Here are tips and recipes for all three mthods.

(I just thought of a fourth way—I dip them in a flour-and-water batter and fry them. I just mix about ¼ cup of flour with about 1/8 cup of water and mix until the batter is smooth and thick enough to stick to 1/8” thick slices of eggplant (or squash or mushrooms). Heat a few tablespoons of oil on a skiller—not for deep frying just enough to come about half-way up the 1/8” slice. When the oil is hot but not smoking lay the eggplant slices on it in one layer. Fry until one side is done maybe a minute not more than two minutes; then flip and fly the other side. The whole thing takes less than five minutes. Drain on paper towels, add salt and eat hot.)

PULP

When eggplants are subjected to high heat, their insides turn soft and mushy and for some reason smoky. This pulp is not pretty, but it’s delicious, low-carlorie, full of antioxidants and many recipes are based on it.

There are several ways to turn an eggplant into pulp:

–Prick it with a fork wrap it in foil loosely place it in a 400 degree oven and leave it there for about an hour until it collapses and the skin is black. Allow to cool split and then scrape out the pulp

–OR don’t wrap in foil just put in on a baking sheet;

–OR—cut it in half brush the exposed flesh with oil place face down on a cookie sheet as above

–OR—impale on a knife or skewer and hold over a flame until blackened and soft (I’m including this one because it’s on a lot of websites, but it sounds like a good way to burn your fingers and drop your eggplant into the fire).

Once you’ve scraped the pulp—don’t worry if you get a few bits on skin—you can freeze it or use it any of these recipes; the flesh will last for a couple of days in a tightly closed plastic bag or container. Some of these are repeats, but I thought we should have all our eggplant recipes in one place:

BABAGANOUSH: To the pulp from one large eggplant add (more or less to taste)

1 tbs mashed, crushed or minced garlic

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and cayenne pepper

¼ cup tahini paste

Mash it all up or if you want a smoother texture (and don’t hate washing the food processor as much as I do)—whirl in a food processor for a few seconds.

ABUGANOUSH, a variation on the baba variety: Instead of puree-ing the pulp, chop it roughly and combine with

A diced tomato

A diced cucumber

A diced pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley an

A diced onion or scallion.

Drizzle in some olive olive and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.

THAI EGGPLANT DIP: While you’re puree-ing the pulp, add:

2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh ginger

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil (start with one tablespoon and add more to taste).

Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

BAGNACAUDAGANOUSH: I just made this one up, and it’s pretty good: Puree the pulp with:

several cloves of garlic—roasted garlic is even better

2-3 anchovy fillets.

Add oil to get the concistency you want. You probably won’t need salt—the anchovies are very salty.

BAKLAZHANNAIA IKRA (POOR MAN’S CAVIAR). The New York Times

Adapted from “Recipes: Russian Cooking” (Time-Life Books, 1969)

Scrape the pulp from 1 large, roasted eggplant and set aside.

1 cup finely chopped onions

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Dark rye or pumpernickel or sesame-seed crackers, for serving.

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the eggplant on a baking sheet in the center of the oven, turning it over once or twice, until it is soft and its skin is charred and blistered, about 1 hour.

In a skillet, cook the onions in 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat until they are soft but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. With a rubber spatula, scrape the contents of the skillet into a mixing bowl.

Chop the eggplant pulp into a mixing bowl and stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Mix together thoroughly. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over moderate heat and pour in the eggplant mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for 1 hour.

Uncover and cook 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until all the moisture in the pan has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape in a spoon. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Transfer the “caviar” to a mixing bowl and chill, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve. Serve on squares of bread or on sesame-seed crackers.

Yield: 3 cups.

PUNJABI EGGPLANT & TAMARIND (BAARTA) from: Jonathan Kandell

An adaptation of Siri Ved Kaur’s recipe for Baarta, northern indian roasted eggplant and tamarind, which turned out delicious.

The flavors mix really well.

Note from Lori—this sounds like a lot of trouble, but I thought some of you might have tamarind in your pantries.

To the pulp of 3 eggplants, add:

2 onions, sliced into thin  rings

5 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 t turmeric

1 t crushed red chile

1/2 t ground cumin

3/4 t black pepper

1 T ground corriander

2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 C frozen peas

1 T tamarind concentrate*

4 T fresh lemon juice

1/2 C cilantro

[* Tamarind concentrate is available in Indian and Middle Eastern stores.

Don't buy the blocks of tamarind pulp by mistake as it's a pain to use].

Mix all the spices and crush them. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, then add all the spices and heat until they begin to sizzle. Add the tomatoes and peas and continue cooking, stirring frequently until the tomatoes are dissolved and the mixture has a saucy consistency.(You may have to add a little water to prevent scorching.)

Mix the lemon juice and tamarind until smooth.

Add into the onion/tomato mixture.

Add the eggplant pulp to the pan; mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve warm or at room temperature.

EGGPLANT DIP WITH YOGURT (BORANI-E BADEMJAN)

Author Notes: Lightly adapted from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food – Nicholas Day

To the pulp of two eggplants add:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup yogurt

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 clove of garlic, crushed (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (optional)

Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley or mint, if using. Taste again. Serve.

EGGPLANT RISOTTO

Contributed by Jonathan Justus

Puree  the pulp of one large eggplant

In a large skillet. Heat:

2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Add

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)

Cook stirring un

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 cups hot vegetable stock or broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Ground sumac (optional)

Puree the eggplant until creamy.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and oil. Add the onion, shallot, garlic and rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is absorbed. Add the vegetable stock, 1/2 cup at a time; stir constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is al dente, 20 minutes total.

Stir in the eggplant puree and the cream and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and scallions. Spoon the risotto into bowls, sprinkle with sumac and serve.

EGGPLANT PASTA SAUCE

In a saucepan, combine the pulp of large eggplant with:

3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

Sauteed or roasted vegetables

Your favorite herbs and spice

Stir until combined and hot. Serve over pasta, sprinkled wi9th parmesan cheese

CUBED EGGPLANT: STEAMED

EGGPLANT COMPOTE, Joël Robuchon

ACTIVE: 15 MIN

TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN

SERVINGS: Makes 3 1/2 cups

Joël Robuchon ingeniously softens spongy eggplant by steaming it instead of sautéing it in oil. “Usually, cooked eggplant absorbs so much oil and becomes full of fat,” he says.

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely grated on a box grater

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1/4 cup tomato sauce, such as marinara or canned tomato puree

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Set the diced eggplant in a steamer basket. Set the basket over 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and steam the eggplant until tender, 12 minutes; drain well.

In a large skillet, combine the tomatoes with the garlic, cumin and paprika and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and the eggplant and simmer, gently stirring a few times, until the eggplant is flavored with the sauce, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; add the lemon zest, cilantro and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead The compote can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Notes One Serving 39 cal, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 9 gm carb, 4 gm fiber, 2 gm protein.

CUBED EGGPLANT, SAUTEED

TUNISIAN EGGPLANT — From “Still Life With Menu” by Mollie Katzen
(recipe re-printed with author’s permission)

Preparation Time: About 40 minutes
Yield: Appetizer for six

Here is a South Mediterranean version of eggplant caponata (the famous Italian eggplant salad) featuring two outstanding guest stars: green olives and marinated artichoke hearts. It is so good it must be served as a course unto itself, accompanied by wedges of pita bread. (If you serve it with anything else, the other dish, no matter how good, might go unnoticed. *Ed Note: That is the TRUTH.)

It keeps beautifully, so go ahead and make it three or four days ahead of time, if that is most convenient for you.

1/4 cup olive oil (or more, as needed)
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 large eggplant (peeling optional), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup small pitted green olives
1 small jar (6 ounce) marinated artichoke hearts (drained, each piece cut into 2 or 3 smaller pieces)
pinches of dried tarragon, basil and/or oregano (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (5 to 8 minutes).
  2. Add the eggplant cubes, stir and cover. Cook until the eggplant is very well done (15 to 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add small amounts of additional oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and vinegar, and heat to the boiling point. Add the olives and remove from heat.
  4. Stir in the artichoke hearts, then cool to room temperature. Taste to adjust the seasonings, adding the optional herbs, if desired.
  5. Cover tightly and chill. Serve cold or at room temperature.

BROILED SLICED EGGPLANT

EGGPLANT SALAD WITH WALNUTS

Contributed by Dmitry Leonov

TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN

SERVINGS: 8

Terrific as a salad or a spread for flatbread, adzhapsandali is like a Georgian version of ratatouille. Grilling the eggplant gives the dish a luscious, smoky flavor.

Two 1-pound eggplants, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick drizzle or brushed with oil.

1 large jalapeño

Vegetable oil, for brushing

Salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

5 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Grilled flatbread, for serving

Broil  the eggplant until nicely charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side.

NOTE: Don’t let the oiled eggplant get too close to the broiling element (as I did) or it will catch fire (as mine did).

Transfer the eggplant to a work surface and let cool. Broil or sauté the jalapeño, turning, until charred and almost tender, about 4 minutes. Peel and seed the jalapeño, then finely chop it. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch dice.

In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, vinegar and garlic. Add the eggplant, jalapeño, tomatoes and onion, season with salt and toss. Garnish with the walnuts and serve with grilled flatbread.

Make Ahead The salad can stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.

Broiled Eggplant Sandwiches

Really, that’s the whole recipe—a couple of slices of broiled eggplant between slices of brea. The oil an smokiness seep into the bread and make the whole thing delicious. Ypu can add other broile vegetables—onions, squas, mushrooms, peppers—or condiments (horseradish sauce is nice) or chese. But plain is just fine.



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