Not your average baba ghanoush—grilled slices of eggplant give this dip a chunky texture, and a hefty portion of hot paprika adds spicy character.
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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Note: Mirin is a sweet rice-based wine. It can be found in any Japanese or Asian grocery story. If unavailable, you can make a substitue by heating 1 cup of sake with 1 cup of sugar...
This Eggplant Romesco Rigatoni treats the meaty eggplant very well indeed, roasting it with onions and peppers before blending it with tomatoes and toasted almonds for an out of this world pasta sauce that just to happens to be vegan.
When you think of a good pickle, eggplant is not one of the vegetables that immediately springs to mind. In fact, if the hierarchy of pickles, eggplant hovers on the list somewhere after kohlrabi and just before kale. But this pickle is zippy and bright with a tender texture, without any signs of mushiness.
Pickled eggplant should join the pantheon of classic pickles. It deserves a spot up there between the kosher dills and dilly beans. Zippy and flavorful, it's perfect for pickle plates and quick appetizers. This recipe is adapted from one in...
I fell in love with this recipe the moment I first uncovered it in Susanna Foo's Fresh Inspirations. There is obviously nothing wrong with the traditional version of ratatouille but the idea of tweaking it, especially by adding chiles, appealed to me for some reason. The vegetables come out intensely flavored and dynamic. You could cut the amount of oil in half, but I'm not sure it would taste as good. Either way, paired with some rice, this a perfect way to say goodbye to the summer produce.
If Indian food is just chicken tikka and biryani to you, then please keep reading. In India, food varies from region to region, home to home, and religion to religion. And it's not all spicy and complicated. Most Indian food is surprisingly simple to make and very, very rewarding to eat. In this new Indian cooking column, I'd like to introduce you to the real food we cook and eat at home. For starters, khichdi, a sort of one-pot comfort meal of rice, lentils and vegetables.
This eggplant tian is a refreshing, lighter break from Eggplant Parm, full of sweet balsamic-roast eggplant, oozing mozzarella cheese, and summery-fresh basil.
The recipe is a three-parter, beginning with Ragù all'Abruzzese, a slow cooking tomato sauce that's simmered with three types of meat, beef, lamb, and pork that enrich the sauce with all sorts of lovely meaty, fatty notes. The curious thing about this particular ragù is that the meat is removed before serving so that it can be used in another dish such as filling for cannelloni or tortellini.
The eggplant added an extra creaminess and the grilled flavors played off of the freshness of the mozzarella, tomato, and basil. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil was the icing on the cake (eggplant cake?), giving a contrasting sharp tang and bite.
My original plan was ratatouille, one of my absolute favorite seasonal meals. I picked up eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and set about finding a recipe. The problem is, I'm already quite fond of this one and couldn't find another that excited me in the same way. Luckily, I came across a recipe that uses all of the above vegetables, then adds some chickpeas and bell peppers. How could that be bad?
Most recipes for melitzanosalata, a Greek roasted eggplant dip, have you roast the eggplant in the oven for 30 minutes until it's completely soft. After grilling the eggplant instead and avoiding that oven heat, I'd argue it's grill or nothing for this dip. It has a nice cooling effect, with creamy smokiness balanced by the fresh lemon and parsley.
My trips to LAMill—an airy, super-hip, super-sleek, coffee oasis in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles—tend to focus squarely on caffeine consumption. Picking up some beans, sipping on a caffe con leche, an occasional splurge on something siphon dripped. But on a recent visit, the cafe's sandwich menu caught my eye, specifically the Eggplant Miso, and even more specifically the housemade nori focaccia on which this vegetarian creation is served.
Janna Gur's Stuffed Baby Eggplants and Zucchini in Pomegranate Sauce is the kind of meaty main that you can get into even when the weather isn't cooking-cooperative. Eggplants and zucchini (or all zucchini later in the summer) are hollowed out, stuffed with a mix of ground beef and rice, seared on all sides, and then left to simmer on a bed on tomatoes and onions swimming in a fantastically tart lemon-pomegranate sauce.
A sweet ginger-miso sauce settled into all the canyons created by scoring a criss-cross pattern into Chinese eggplants and grilling them until very tender. The eggplant and paste melded into one creamy concoction that had a nice balance between a mild miso flavor, sweetness, and a little bite from the ginger.
I chatted with Ed about eggplant parm a bit, and I think he put it best: "the thing is, between eggplant parmesan and lasagna, you almost always want to pick the lasagna, because even at its worst, there's only so bad that meat, tomato sauce, cheese, and noodles can be. But bad eggplant is inedible." And he's right: with eggplants, it's all or nothing. It's time to up those odds.
Fish paste probably won't ever reach meat paste levels of popularity in Chinese and Vietnamese cookery—they rely too heavily on it for charcuterie and dumplings—but the pulverized fish and shrimp still plays a fairly prominent role. While the appeal of ground meat is universal, not everyone takes to the texture of seafood once it's been pounded into a paste: light and fluffy with a bouncy/chewy mouthfeel.
For each thrilling high of a fantastic experience with this smokey Middle Eastern dip, I experience a equal low, often leaving me questioning why I like it at all. Unfortunately, my home experience has been made up of almost entirely lows—until this most recent stab at it. Each ingredient combined to make a luscious, smoky dip that reigns high on my list of all time favorites.