Tag Archives: eggplant

Roasted Eggplants with Ground Lamb and Yogurt Tahini Sauce

8 Oct

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Eggplant season is still here, and I’ve seen loads of eggplant-related recipes featured on the NYTimes lately, like Martha Rose Shulman’s Lasagna with Tomato Sauce and Roasted Eggplant, Melissa Clark’s Eggplant Dip for non-eggplant eaters, and the awesome Eggplant Marinana Sandwich from Frankies Spuntino Restaurant in Brooklyn. Inspiration central.

It just so happens that while I was ‘fondling’ the beautiful eggplants at the market the other day, my eye flecked over to the Brooklyn Cured meat booth, and they had lamb sausages on special–with Greek yogurt, lemon, and parsley. Suddenly my brain switched from craving a hearty winter pasta to Mediterranean mezze. The weather has been so lovely lately, so I figured I could spare a hearty pasta for a few more weeks. And then I remembered Deb’s recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Cumin-Crisped Chickpeas from her cookbook!

Since I found this amazing lamb, I swapped my usual chickpea preference for ground lamb. With a few heaps of roasted cauliflower (I didn’t use harissa this time but if I had it around I might have…) and warm whole wheat pita, I felt very proud of my meal.

The smaller eggplants are great for roasting in larger hunks (oxymoron?!). I quartered mine because I like a greater surface area for browning on the edges but still being soft on the inside.

As you can see, I smothered my meal in the yogurt-tahini sauce. I ended up making a second batch of the sauce the next day because it was just so good for dipping and spreading. Threw some fresh mint into the mix, but you could use whatever herbs you like, or nix the herbs and go garlic and paprika! This may be my new hummus. And all you have to do is whisk.

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Roasted Eggplant + Ground Lamb

From the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

2-3 small eggplants

olive oil 

salt

1/2 onion, chopped fine

1 lb. of ground lamb or ground lamb sausage

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take the tops off the eggplants, and either half them or quarter them. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil, place the eggplant pieces cut side up and brush the exposed sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, flip, and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the skin is dimpled and the interior glazed and golden.

About 10 minutes before the eggplants are finished roasting, heat a (cast-iron if you have one) skillet. Add a touch of olive oil and saute the onion until starting to brown. Add in the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes, until no longer pink inside. Drain the fat.

Serve the lamb with the roasted eggplant (you can roast cauliflower, too!), the yogurt tahini sauce, and some warm (whole wheat) pita bread.

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield low-fat yogurt)

1/3 cup tahini

1 garlic clove, minced

pinch of salt

lemon juice, to taste (about 1-3 Tablespoons)

fresh herbs, chopped (I used fresh mint)

Whisk everything together. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Give it a sprinkle of paprika for a pop of color!

“Pasta Mondays”: Pasta Shells with Tomato and Eggplant

25 Jun

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It’s been a busy June this year. Before the month slips by, I will share a simple recipe for a pasta dinner. Shells with Tomato and Eggplant.

Pasta Mondays have been happening a lot this month. Pasta offers carb-filled comfort, and when tossed with seasonal produce, feels light and quick (I’ve been on a beans/eggs/tortillas kick, lately as well…). Just what I need to keep me pumped for the busy days ahead.

Below is a photo of whole wheat angel hair pasta with summer squash, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and Pecorino:

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I turned the leftover sautéed squash into another pasta meal, adding tomato sauce, kale, and “whipped” cottage cheese (my latest obsession, it has the consistency of ricotta but with more protein!):

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This week’s pasta dinner was inspired by an amazing eggplant-based vegan sandwich I ate over the weekend at the Smorgasburg in DUMBO. The sandwich was made by Bombay Sandwich, Co. It had roasted eggplant, onions, and tomato seasoned with cumin, carom seed, asafetida, and jaggery. The sandwich was topped with various chutneys, carrot & mustard seed pickle, fresh cut cilantro & Haldiram’s crunchy chickpea flakes, and was toasted on local seven grain bread from Orwashers Artisan Bakery.

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With eggplant on the brain, and leftover tomato sauce in my fridge, this week’s Pasta Monday was set. I recently acquired some basil plants that I potted and set on my windowsill, and nothing screams pasta and tomatoes like fresh basil! I decided to go cheese-less tonight, but I added a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a little flavor and substance.

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Shells with Tomato and Eggplant

serves 4, loosely adapted from Martha Rose Shulman 

8 oz dry shell shape pasta

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small to medium size or 1 large eggplant, cubed

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1-2 cups prepared tomato sauce (try to find a high quality brand with no added sugar, or purchase it at your farmer’s market if you can)

small handful of fresh basil, lightly chopped

salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

optional: nutritional yeast…or Parmesan or ricotta…

Get your water boiling in a pot. Once boiling, salt the water and add the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When it begins to ripple, add the eggplant and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the edges are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Cover, turn the heat to medium, and continue to cook, shaking the pan often, until the eggplant is thoroughly softened, about 10 more minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, stir together, and heat through. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Drain the pasta, and toss with the tomato sauce and eggplant mixture. Top the pasta with fresh basil, salt, and fresh ground pepper. If using, sprinkle on top nutritional yeast or fresh cheese.

Farmer’s Market Veggie Explosion with Miso Curry Dressing

6 Aug

A variation on the Miso-Curry Delicata Squash that I was making over and over again last fall.

This time around there’s eggplant, heirloom tomato, baby potatoes, and zucchini from the farmer’s market. And tofu for protein!

Dressed with a smash and a stir of white miso, red Thai curry paste, and extra virgin olive oil. Finished with a squeeze of lemon, fresh herbs, and slivered almonds.

I was inspired by the produce at the farmer’s market. I suggest you do the same and use whatever strikes your interest–corn, peppers, sprouts, peas, baby eggplants…

I think my favorites right now have to be the cherry tomatoes. Farmer’s market tomatoes taste SO much better than any grocery store variety. Just remember not to put them in the refrigerator or they will lose their luscious tomato taste. They are great roasted or raw.

Looking for another quick, farmer’s market-inspired dinner idea? Tacos are always the answer in my book.

I know that this Miso Curry Veggie Explosion requires you to turn on the oven. If you just can’t take the heat, make a raw salad with some kale, tomatoes, snap peas, corn etc. You could still use tofu. Just cut everything in bite size pieces and drizzle the miso-curry dressing with a little lemon and chopped herbs, and add the nuts or seeds for texture. No oven required. Stay cool.

Endless possibilities.

Veggie Explosion with Miso Curry Dressing

adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday 

serves 4

1/4 cup/ 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Scant 1/4 cup/ 2.5 oz/ 70 g white miso (I purchase mine at Whole Foods)

Scant 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste

1 14-oz package of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes

1 large handful of small potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks

1 medium eggplant, cut into small chunks

1/2 of a medium zucchini, cut into strips

1 large heirloom tomato, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)

1/4 cup slivered almonds

small handful of fresh basil or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste.

Combine the tofu, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and tomato in a large bowl with all but 2 tablespoons-worth of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well, then turn your vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and arrange everything in a single layer. Roast for about 30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Toss once or twice along the way, after things start to brown a bit. When the veggies come out of the oven, squeeze half of a lemon over them.

Serve the veggie explosion with some toasted almond slivers, fresh basil or cilantro, and a spoonful of the remaining sauce with a little more lemon.

NOTE: You can always make a raw salad. No oven. Dressing is the same. Enjoy.