Hello Stranger | Login | Create Account
 
 
 
 
 
  SAUCE MAGAZINE
|
Oct 19, 2017
|
Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
|
SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
One Ingredient Many Ways
Print | Text-size: A | A | A
Bold and Beautiful
By Dee Ryan | Photos by Laura Miller
Posted On: 08/01/2013   


Eggplant comes in colors ranging from albino white to midnight purple, and in shapes from Gwyneth Paltrow skinny to Rubenesquely rotund. Its shiny skin belies a bitter flesh, but once you give it a little help, it’s just as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside. Here are three ways to celebrate the complex flavors and meaty texture of this summer beauty.

Some cooks salt eggplant before cooking it in order to leach out water and bitterness. Just slice or cube the eggplant, put it in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let it sit for an hour, then use a paper towel to pat dry and remove excess salt.

Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve 4 1-pound eggplants lengthwise. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut sides up. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons cumin and 1½ teaspoons sweet paprika. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 cup chopped onion and half the spice mixture, cover and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 pound ground lamb and cook 4 minutes longer. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat. Stir in 3 tablespoons pine nuts, 2 teaspoons tomato paste, 1∕8 cup chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the filling onto the eggplant. In the small bowl with the remaining spices, whisk together ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon molasses, 2 teaspoons of sugar and a pinch each of salt and pepper and pour into the baking dish. Add 1 cinnamon stick. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 50 minutes, basting with the pan juices, until very tender. Transfer the eggplant to a platter and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the pan juices over the eggplant and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


Sichuan Eggplant with Pork
In a bowl, mix ½ pound ground pork with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry. In a wok or large skillet with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over high heat until smoking. Add 1 tablespoon chili-bean sauce, 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger and a pinch of salt, and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the pork and stir-fry until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 pound Japanese eggplant cut into Ύ-inch cubes, and stir-fry until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Stir in ½ cup chicken broth, cover and cook over moderate heat until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Add to wok. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 15 seconds. Drizzle 1 teaspoon sesame oil over the eggplant and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions.


Eggplant, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil. Slice 1 eggplant into Ό-inch rounds and arrange in a single layer on the sheets. Brush tops with additional oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until eggplant is tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. On a serving platter, layer 1-pound sliced tomatoes, followed by 1 pound sliced mozzarella and then the roasted eggplant. Top with ½ cup fresh torn basil leaves. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Drizzle over the dish.


Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts
Makes 4

INGREDIENTS

4 1-lb. eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. cumin
1½ tsp. sweet paprika
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb. ground lamb
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/8 cup parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
3 tsp. sugar, divided
½ cup water
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 cinnamon stick

PREPARATION

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the eggplants in a large baking dish, cut sides up. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
• Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, cumin and sweet paprika.
• In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and half of the spice mixture, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
• Add the ground lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet.
• Stir in the pine nuts, tomato paste, chopped parsley, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the filling onto the eggplant.
• In the small bowl with the remaining spices, whisk together the water, lime juice, molasses, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper and pour into the baking dish. Add he cinnamon stick and cover the dish with foil. Bake about 50 minutes, basting with the pan juices, until very tender.
• Transfer the eggplant to a platter and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the pan juices over the eggplant, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Want to comment on this article? Login or sign up on Sauce.

SEARCH SAUCE
Conceived and created by Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC ©1999-2017, Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Sauce Magazine 1820 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63103.
PH: 314-772-8004 FAX: 314-241-8004