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Eggplant side dishes?

I picked up two medium-sized eggplants at the farmer's market last weekend. I haven't had time to do an eggplant parmesan, nor will I because I already have some leftover butternut squash lasagna in the casserole pan!

So, can anyone think of something to do involving eggplant as a side dish? I've got some turnips to cook up, too, which I normally mash with caramelized onions. But I can certainly change things up.

I haven't even thought of what meat to make, since I'll just make it complement the eggplant and turnip!

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  1. are you looking for this as a side dish to the squash lasagna? if not, there's a brilliant recipe from "Indian Home Cooking" for smokey eggplant with yogurt and cilantro. it's served cold and it's fantastically delicious and not terribly difficult to make: roast an eggplant, peel the skin off, saute an onion and some Indian spices, and toss that with the eggplant, some yogurt, and cilantro. i posted the recipe on my blog a couple of months ago, if you don't have the book. i *highly* recommend it. even my anti-aubergine husband was very pro-this one.

    funkymonkey
    thebestbite.blogspot.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: funkymonkey

      Yup, thats right - the 'indian spices' are:

      1. coriander [fresh, chopped, added at the end]
      2. garam masala
      3. chilli powder
      4. roasted cumin seed
      5. dhania powder [dried coriander seed powder]

      another variation is with all the above, without the yoghurt, with a chopped tomato and peas [pre-blanched] in it. Try using sunflower seed oil or even better mustard oil [for mustard oil, you have to heat the oil till it smokes].

      sid
      food.sidkhullar.com

       
    2. Another quick Indian recipe involves cutting the eggplant into 1/2" thick discs, scoring each side, sprinkle with tumeric, chili powder, cumin, salt and let it sit for 10-15 min. Then heat some oil and sautee these until tender. Hmmmm.....

      3 Replies
      1. re: percyn

        More indian, and easy: dice an eggplant and put in a saucepan with a bag of frozen peas, 2 cups of broth (or water, but broth/bouillon makes it so much better), 1/2 tsp turmeric (ground), 1 tbsp of coriander seeds and 1 tsp of cumin seeds (slightly crushed), 1/2 tsp salt if you are using water, and a couple sprigs of cilantro. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is gone, which takes a surprisingly long time (40 minutes?). Add 1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala at the end and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. It will look dark and the peas will be shrively, but it will taste good.

        1. re: Snackish

          This is similar to a recipe that Faith Willinger has in her cookbook, "Red, White and Greens, The Italian Way With Vegetables"...Love this book, BTW
          Of course the spices are different.... just a bit it S & P.... and the eggplant spices are grilled. It's so easy to prepare and the taste of the eggplant is pronounced.

          Here's a link to a web site that is dedicated to Eggplant:
          http://www.aubergines.org/recipes.php

          1. re: Gio

            I love the Indian spice treatment to mashed eggplant, but I also have grown fond of stir fried eggplant with bean sprouts and other vegetables mixed in a black bean garlic sauce. What makes this dish special is the sauce and the combination of eggplant, sprouts, and my favorite complimentary food to this dish - sliced shitake mushrooms. (The other vegetables I leave up to your preference, but the essential ingredients to this dish are the cubes eggplant pieces, sprouts, mushrooms, and the sauce.)

      2. there's a GREAT side-dish we Armenians make called eekra that is originally a russian recipe (and usually is chunks of eggplant cooked in tomato sauce - but this version is better):

        bake or grill the eggplant until soft - grilling over coals preferable for the smoky flavor - poke holes in the aggplant if you're going to grill, split and lightly oil and salt the eggplants for baking (duh)

        then scoop out the flesh (or if you want just cut it up if you want to include the skins - but it's hard to slice the skins - but I recommend keeping the skins in the dish for flavor or at least fiber) and place in a food processor

        add olive oil, some tomato sauce (I used canned) - but not a lot - the end dish should be a paste/dip, salt to taste, some hot sauce, paprika, and some well-smushed FRESH garlic- at least two cloves for a cup of the dip, and blend well and it is WONDERFUL

        you could also add lemon juice, or maybe lime juice, or maybe some vinegar, also parsely goes well - but above all green bell/hot peppers go well in this dish, so you could use a green-pepper hot sauce, or go so far as to roast some peppers along with the aggplant and add them in

        and don't ask me for specific measurements - just do it by taste as you go along

        1. Try my recent invention! Slice raw eggplant to about 1/3 inch slices. Dip in beaten egg, then roll in parmesean. Cook in your wafflebaker with olive oil to coat! Tender inside, crispy outside. You can add some herbs to the parm too, if desired! These take the shape of the wafflebaker. Might not work in a deep Belgin style one though.

          4 Replies
          1. re: scuzzo

            Do you think this would work on a George Foreman grill?

            1. re: OysterHo

              Mario Batali on FoodTV has a recipe for eggplant meatballs which I've made with great success. Peel, cube & boil eggplant. Then mash up with egg, bread/breadcrumb, parmesean. Roll in balls, coat in breadcrumb and fry in evoo. Sometimes I put them in sauce, or I use them for sandwiches with roasted peppers, lettuce, tomato. They go over particularly well as apps. with a dipper of tomato sauch with some velveeta melted in. Once made, they'll last a few days in fridge. I've even done them crab-cake style and served with salad for a vegan friendly meal.

              1. re: OysterHo

                Yes, I think a George Foreman grill would work fine!

            2. I bought six beautiful, green eggplants at the local farmer’s market this weekend. I cut up about ¼ pound of pancetta and rendered it down, plus a little olive oil. Added about 1 and ½ onions and 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and about 1 and ½ cups of chopped sweet peppers plus ½ cup of tomato puree and ¼ cup of Madera plus 1T each oregano and thyme plus about 2 cups of chicken stick and simmered it all for about 1 and ½ hours with all of the eggplant peeled and cubed. Very tasty.

              1. As a "meat as a main dish" lover, I would suggest exploring eggplant as more than a side. One of my fave dishes from a couple of trips to china was variations of ground pork with eggplant. I supposed you could use ground beef for this as well. But basically cook up some ground meat, drain the fat, and fold in diced eggplant and other ingredients. The eggplant will absorb whatever flavors you impart. The variations are endless, but during the meat process I add garlic, asian hot sauce, ginger and maybe a couple of other things. It all cooks in one vessel. It might take a couple of test attempts, but once you figure out how to get the cooking timed right, eggplant can be a magnificent delivery mechanism for flavors. And because of it's volume, you can make some big dishes for a lot of people at a lower cost. But hey, it can still be made as a side and also meatless. Do some searches for eggplant chinese recipes - they've got a lot of variety.