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Spiced Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad - Tomato Envy : Tomato Envy

Spiced Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad

October 7, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More

roasted eggplant

As in years’ past, the leaves on my garden eggplants look like Swiss cheese this October. Once again they are the unfortunate victims of flea beetles I simply didn’t take the time to battle. There was even a big fat tomato hornworm I didn’t have the heart to kill. It was huge by the time I discovered it, and I figured 99 percent of the damage it would do was already done.

Even so, the plants are still delivering beautiful, mild-fleshed eggplants. I vowed to find something to do with them that doesn’t involve frying, marinara sauce and cheese like my standby recipe, eggplant gratin. I truly love it cooked into a bubbling cheesy mess, but I wanted something different.

This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe appeared in Bon Appetit. I suspected it could stop me from constantly yearning for the roasted eggplant at my favorite Israeli restaurant, Zahav. I was right.

The process of making this was fraught with suspicion. “Do I even have preserved lemon peel?” I thought. “Hmmmm, that looks like an awful lot of spice mixture to put on these eggplants. Really, I should use it all?”

roasted eggplantI made this on a particularly busy Sunday, and I started setting low expectations early with Mr. President, letting him know I was skeptical of this new recipe. But, when we took that first bite, we were sold – this perfect blend of spices melts into the roasted eggplant which gets smooth and creamy during cooking. Paired with the light bulgur salad that’s heavy on the fresh herbs, it’s a satisfying vegetarian dinner. If you’re cooking for one, make it anyway and enjoy the wonderful leftovers later.

Ingredients (Serves 4 supposedly, but it really just served us two)

1 cup quick-cooking bulgur

1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

2 Tbsp. preserved lemon peel, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 medium eggplants, about 9-10 ounces each, cut in half lengthwise

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup dried currants

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

roasted eggplant1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

Step one:

1 cup quick-cooking bulgur

In a large bowl, combine the bulgur with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Let sit for about 45 minutes and stir occasionally. The grain will soak up the water and will be tender.

Step two:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. preserved lemon peel, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

roasted eggplant1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 medium eggplants, about 9-10 ounces each, cut in half lengthwise

While bulgur is soaking, get started on the eggplant.

Preheat your oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil with all of the spices, lemon peel, garlic and salt. Set mixture aside.

Using a small paring knife, carefully score the cut surfaces of each eggplant half using a crosshatch pattern. The cuts can be about 1/2-inch deep, but avoid cutting through the skin. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each eggplant half and sprinkle each with a little salt. Next, evenly spread each half with one-fourth of the reserved spice mixture making sure to go all the way to the edges. Place the eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up, and bake for about 50 minutes. The eggplants should be very soft when they are done.

Step three:

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup dried currants

roasted eggplant1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

While eggplant is roasting, prepare the ingredients for the salad. Combine all ingredients with the bulgur once it is tender. Let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature so flavors can blend. The salad can be made well ahead of time, if desired.

Once eggplant is done, plate it with some of the bulgur salad and drizzle everything with olive oil. If desired you can serve a dollop of full-fat plain yogurt on the side. This eggplant is best when served warm or at room temperature.

 

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Category: Fall, Food, General, Main Dishes, Recipes, Summer

Comments (2)

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  1. NORVAL E HILDERBRAND JR says:

    I like fried eggplant.I think it will be very delicious.
    So I am going try it.Thank for the recipe.

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