eggplant recipes that don't involve tomatoes
Most of my eggplant recipes call for tomatoes, tomato paste or tomato sauce.
After a couple tomato-heavy dinners, I'm looking for a new way to prepare my eggplants. I don't have access to a grill, so grilled eggplant isn't a possibility for me, although I could roast or broil.
What are your favourite eggplant recipes that don't call for tomatoes?
Depending on how much you want to make & how strong you want the flavor to be is how you decide how much onions & garlic to use. I usually use a large onion, if I can find Vidalia, I'll use that otherwise I'll use yellow onions. Large dice and a couple or three large garlic cloves, whole.
Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in a oven proof skillet or sheet pan lined with parchment or baking paper; I don't like using foil to line the pan because it causes the veggies to cook too quick and scorch. Roast in a 375F. degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring mxture after 8-10 minutes. When the veggies are caramelized & fork tender, remove from oven and spoon into a food processor & blender along with any residual oil from the pan.
Add 2-3 cups of veggie stock (you can use chicken stock if you want), 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin, kosher salt & pepper to taste; puree mx until smooth then add to a saucepan or use the same skillet. Heat over medium low temperature for a few minutes until sauce simmers and thickens. You can increase the liquid if you want a thinner sauce. If you like heat, you can add cayenne pepper powder and I've used a soaked & seeded dried ancho chile which was really good over a chicken breast topped with queso fresco.
I do this a lot with the longer, thin variety by pricking the skins while they're whole and placing them under the broiler until they puff and deflate. Peel and shred or chop, then dress with the soy sauce/vinegar/toasted sesame oil/garlic/scallions mixture. It sounds weird, but this salad is good chilled with hot scrambled eggs and parsley to garnish.
I tried a similar type of marinade tonight, but I had used up my garlic in another dish, so I used soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chopped ginger, crushed red pepper and a little sugar. Instead of steaming, I roasted the eggplant in the oven for 15 minutes, then tossed with the marinade, and roasted another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they looked cooked.
Nice change of flavours from my usual preparations. I'll try steaming the eggplant next time. How long do you steam your thick coin sized pieces?
baba ghanouj. I have a gas stove. I roasted the small Japanese eggplants over the open flame. I also bake my own pita chips.
1 euro-style eggplant or 3-4 oriental style, cubed
4 med potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 med onion, chopped
1 T garlic, crushed or paste
1 T ginger, grated or paste
3 T oil
1/2 T chana dahl
1/2 T urad dahl
1 T cumin seed
8 curry leaves (fresh)
1 T mustard seed
3-6 dried red chilis, crumbled (use less if hot is not your thing)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 T garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
fresh cilantro for garnish
Boil potato cubes approx 5 mins, drain and set aside. They should just be starting to cook, about half cooked or a little less. They will continue to cook from residual heat so don't cook them all the way. Time will vary with the size of the cubes.
heat oil over med high heat. Add dahls.
When dahls start to brown, add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
When cumin seeds just barely start to turn color, add mustard seeds.
When mustard seeds start to pop (this should take about 5 to 10 secs if oil is hot enough), add crumbled up dried chilis. These will burn QUICKLY, so almost immediately add the onions, garlic, and ginger.
Stir well. Add turmeric and ground cumin.
When onions barely begin to soften, add eggplant and potatoes. Turn down to medium-ish heat. Salt to taste. Stir well. Cover and let cook for about 10 mins. You may need to add a splash of water, use your judgement.
Add garam masala, stir well, and continue cooking until done.
You can use 2 to 4 green chilis (added with onions etc) instead of or in addition to the dried red chilis, just depends on how hot you like it.
You could also substitute a good curry powder for the garam masala and the turmeric. If so, add the curry powder with the cumin powder.
If you don't have the dahls for other reasons, just leave them out. It's hardly worth it to buy 5 lbs of dahl just to get a T for a dry curry like this.
Thanks, ZenSojourner! I've ordered dry curries, but haven't tried making a proper one. How long does it take you from beginning to end? By the look of the recipe, it looks like at least an hour of time, maybe longer (although I'm slow).
I don't mind spending the time it takes, just curious how long it takes someone who is used to making this dish.
OMG, no! It takes like 15 minutes, maybe 20 max. You're only chopping 3 veggies, so not a lot of time there. Everything else is measured into bowls and then you line them up in the order you'll be adding them.
So put a pot of water on to boil.
While it's heating, chop the veggies.
Add the potatoes to the boiling water (actually if you dice the potatoes you can skip this)
Measure everything into little bowls or cups - I have little glass bowls for this, my son used to use a roommate's shot glasses.
By the time you're done with that, the potatoes should be done, drain and set aside.
Heat the oil.
Start adding things in the order given.
It's really not a long process.
BTW, all that frying of the spices should take about a minute or so total. I add the dahl while the oil is still heating (when it's hot but not as hot as its going to get yet). The dahl starting to brown means the oil is nearly as hot as it needs to be to get those mustard seeds popping (BLACK mustard seeds btw, not the yellow seeds). And the dried chilis will volatize almost immediately when you put them in the pan so don't take a deep breath! The frying of the spices is almost like a domino train - once one thing goes, the rest goes faster and faster.
Once you've done it a couple of times you'll get the hang of it. It's one of those things that sounds really complicated when you try to explain it but it's really not. Takes longer to talk about it than to do it.
Well I went looking for a youtube video showing how to do this but I couldn't find one.
Here's another eggplant recipe you might be interested in though:
There is an alternative method for doing the stir fry, he is using a much lower temp than I was taught to use so things don't burn, this makes the order much less important. His oil never gets hot enough to make the mustard seeds pop. This is probably a much more forgiving method for someone who doesn't have someone right there to show you how to do it.
He's using a different spice mix but the method would be pretty much the same. One isn't more "right" or "authentic" than the other. Repeat after me: "regional variations".
Btw, I love the vah chef, he's always fun to watch, and it's thanks to his videos that I finally learned to make dosai. 30 years ago when I was in India getting cooking tips from my MiL, making dosai was a very complicated process involving fermenting whole dahls and wet-grinding. I couldn't repeat the process here in the states because the equipment simply wasn't available back then.
Now they have methods of making dosai that use ground dahll flours, and even some of the mixes are pretty good. They were useless 30 years ago, but things have changed in India a lot since then and it's much easier to get intermediate ingredients like dahl flours, etc.
There is baba ghanoug where you can pierce the eggplant and roast it in the oven until squishy then make a tangy dip out of it.
Or you can slice them and salt them, squeeze the excess liquid out and fry to make yummy sandwiches, no breading or anything but a little veg and dressing in a pita and it's a lovely lunch.
I'm sure there are a lot of indian curried eggplant recipes that don't require tomatoes.
Eggplant and yogurt too is a nice combo and there are some turkish dip recipes out there if you do a search.
Eggplant is rampant in middle Eastern cuisine. Definitely check out the Cookbook of the Month threads, as there will be many ideas. I want to try the eggplant with yogurt and tahini.
I recently made this Eggplant with Pomegranate Molasses which was great: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2010/...
Baked Eggplant with Miso is also a great dish:
If you try nasu dengaku, try making the sauce with more than just 1 tbs of shiro miso, consider adding egg yolk or cornstarch, and dashi, and allowing the sauce to cook for a bit longer than that recipe instructs. Adding yuzu/citrus or ginger to the sauce can elevate it, as can using a combination of red and white miso.
Roasted eggplant in miso soup, eggplant slices pickled in miso, satueed...miso and eggplant are just phenomenal together.
Eggplant caponata. Onions, garlic, roasted red peppers, celery, capers, golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, red wine vinegar and parsley.
Tartines with fried or charred or pureed eggplant, ricotta, honey, and mint or basil.
Eggplant clafoutis, something that I thought I'd invented as a teen (yeah, right) and was proved wrong: http://medcookingalaska.blogspot.com/...
Eggplant tarte-tatin, sweet- http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/...
Or savory, with balsamic and pearl onions or zucchini and pine nuts.
Roasted eggplant and porcini puree/dip.
Eggplant crumble, or gratins.
Your favorite kind of curry.
Turnovers filled with dill, eggplant and cottage cheese.
Eggplant and plantain pastelon.
Croquettes, fritters, and veggie burgers.
If you use regular eggplant for the Baked Eggplant with Miso you can cut it in half lengthways and then score the flesh into a crosshatch cutting right down to ,but not cutting through, the skin. This ensures the thicker eggplant is cooked until really tender and that the miso mix permeates better. You might need to make more of the mixture if you are using a regular eggplant. I also don't cook the mixture down - I stir it all together and spread it on the cut sides towards the end of the cooking time and let it roast into the eggplant.
A variation to the recipe is to add some grated cheddar cheese to the top after applying the miso mixture. The cheese gets gooey and adds another texture and contrasting taste. YUM!
I slice large eggplants the long way - toss w/ olive oil, s&p and any herbs you like - grill - then roll up with ricotta seasoned w/ garlic, lemon, s&p - herbs, etc...
sometimes make a roasted red pepper sauce for this - roasted pepper, garlic, vinegar (sherry or balsamic) s&p....olive oil - blend.
My grandma made these for years, and they are delicious:
Slice an eggplant in half-inch slices. You can score and lightly salt and drain on a slant, for an hour or two, and then pat dry. Mix a beaten egg w/ enough romano or parm and a few good dashes pepper; also herbs indicated below if you're interested; to make a paste. Dry and brown slices lightly in a bit of olive oil and sandwich together with a good few tbsp. of the cheese/egg mixture; flour them, egg them, crumb them, and pan saute in olive oil until they're golden brown. Pesto would be a good addition to the cheese paste; also oregano, reg. basil, what have you.
Here's one of my own favorites:
Breezy Braised Eggplant, Szechuan Style
(Adapted from Madame Chu’s Chinese Cooking School by Grace Zia Chu
1 large globe eggplant, or several small globe or oriental-type eggplants
2 tablespoons of fermented black beans, soaked in warm water to cover for 20 minutes
1 tablespoon hot Asian chili paste/sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled & minced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
1/4-1/2 pound ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey)
Wok or large skillet with a cover
White, brown, or Jasmine rice for serving
Slice eggplant, unpeeled, into approximately 1-1/2” thick slices, then cut the slices into quarters. Make 2 cuts not quite all the way through on each quarter. This will allow the eggplant pieces to cook quickly & evenly, as well as help them to absorb more of the sauce.
Drain the soaked fermented black beans & mash with the minced garlic to a rough paste. Add the chili paste, sugar, soy sauce, & ¼ cup cold water. Stir.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet until hot, but not smoking. Add ground meat & stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add minced ginger & continue stir frying for another minute. Add eggplant pieces & continue stir frying for another 5 minutes. Add in the sauce mixture & stir thoroughly until well mixed. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of water over all, turn the heat down to low/medium low, cover, & allow to cook for another 5 minutes or until the eggplant pieces are tender to your preference. Serve hot over rice.
**Optional: sometimes I’ll also add in the shredded leaves from two stalks of Bok Choy for color, in which case I stir them in right before I cover the wok for the 5-minute braise.
Phoenikia - My hands-down FAVORITE chili-garlic sauce is "Chili Garlic Sauce" by Huy Fong Foods, Inc. of Rosemead, CA (www.huyfong.com).
It comes in several sizes of clear plastic jars (which of course look screaming red because of the contents!) with white lettering & a white rooster on the label. I've been using it since the late '70's/early '80's - in all sorts of dishes. I always just call it "Rooster Sauce", but pulled out the jar to give you the correct info - lol!
They also make sriracha & some other sauces, but I still like this one the best.
It's absolutely delicious, very subtle and refined, so if you want a delicate flavor some night, this is it. Although the stew you serve over the eggplant does call for tomato, it is not the predominant flavor, but you could use another lamb stew or simply use grilled lamb cubes.
As Fall approaches and casseroles become more appropriate, give the Greek classic of Moussaka a try. Ground beef or lamb, eggplant, topped with bechamel, baked and browned in the oven.
Beats the heck out of Shepherd's pie. A simple and hearty dish, with millions of variants on Google.
I love to roast eggplants on the stove, peel them and then mix them into eggs and garlic to make a tortilla type of dish called tortang talong. Sometimes I'll add minced meat, but sometimes I just want them smoky, creamy eggplant unmolested. Eggplant in garlic sauce is a Chinese favorite and it also works fairly well as a main ingredient in red curry.
Honey and eggplant is a surprisingly successful combination. You can simply fry slices as you would for parmigiana, but instead of tomato sauce, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds and mint. You could also add harissa, cumin and cinnamon to the honey and make a glaze instead.
Here's another one I've developed. In fact, it's my base for pretty much any eggplant casserole recipe (parmagian, baked with smoked mozzarella, etc.) since I HATE frying them. Unfortunately, they come out so tasty that if I'm not careful, many get eaten before I have a chance to proceed with whatever recipe I'm using them in.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly spray-oil a rimmed baking sheet & place 1/2"-1" thick slices of unpeeled eggplant - any type - in a single layer. Brush slices lightly with extra-virgin olive oil & sprinkle lightly with:
Crushed red pepper flakes
Dried oregano or dried Italian Seasoning
Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning, Monterey Chicken Grill Seasoning, or any brand of seasoned salt
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until starting to soften & brown lightly. Remove from oven, flip slices over, & re-oil/re-season 2nd side. Continue baking until 2nd side is soft & browned.
Use in your favorite eggplant casserole or baked pasta recipe, as a terrific sandwich ingredient (great with some melted cheese on top), or vegetable side dish. Good hot or at room temperature.
I love to roast eggplant diced, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt tand when cool, I throw them in a fatoush style salad. What's left anyway, they will shrink then I eat half of them before salad gets made.
Other thing that is nice is chinese style. Spread fish paste (from your asian grocer) between thin slices, flour and pan or deep fry (traditional way) or spray oil and roast in the oven (my way). Top with black bean sauce, serve with rice. Lovely. Make it extra spesh by mixing chopped green prawns and water chestnuts, a liitle green onion and coriander into th fish paste mix.
Big thick slices roasted in the oven can yield soft creamy eggplant as good as fried so try that instead if you have any eggplant recipes that you've been avoiding because of oil suckage.
the Cheesecake Factory (yes I had to go), has a sandwich called the Incredible Eggplant Sandwich, which was, surprisingly, incredible. Perhaps check the menu and try to replicate at home? They claim it was "grilled" but I'm pretty sure it was made in a frying pan...
I have a favorite eggplant pasta dish from a Sicilian cookbook by Mimmetta LoMonte, which —off the top of my head— goes like this: after salting the eggplant, letting it rest and then blotting it, cut it into sticks roughly the size of your thumb. Fry up in very hot oil; when they start to get nicely caramelized a bit, remove eggplant with a slotted spoon, and remove some oil if there is more than a tbsp. or two remaining. On medium heat, add some small whole chilis to this remaining oil and fry until they start to darken, then remove them (alternatively, heat some cayenne pepper in this oil for just a minute or two). Toss eggplant and chili oil with a handful of grated ricotta salata and a handful of grated pecorino romano, and serve over pasta. My favorite pasta with this dish is the "mixed" bags of different shapes, but you could use fusilli, or spaghetti.. whatever you like.
I don't know what my recipe is called but it is from a friend from India. The only ingredients are Eggplant, potatoes, tumeric, salt, pepper, and oil. I use oilve oil but if you like blander oil use cannola or some other low flavor oil. All the veggies are cubed the same size and sauted in the oil. I usually cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are just starting to soften. Then I cube them.
After you saute about a minute add the spices and cook until the veggies are soft but not too mushy. You are done.
I forgot two veggie, because my daughter won't eat them. Onions and green chilis are also used in the eggplant recipe I gave you. I use them when I cook it for myself. I just haven't made it for myself in awhile so, I forgot about them. I add the Onions and green chilis before the Eggplant and Potatoes.:)
easy: slice eggplant in thin half rounds and dip in tempura batter and deep fry.
1 cup ice cold water
1 egg, beaten
1 cup self-rising flour (or, all-purpose flour)
pinch of salt
other veggies: mushrooms, green pepper slices, carrots, green beans, onion, green onion, yams, kabocha squash
As an eggplant lover I'm really enjoying this thread. This simple method is how my family eats it most often:
Cut Japanese eggplant into 2-inch lengths, then quarter lengthwise. Steam until done to your preference (I like it as soft as possible while still holding together when picked up with chopsticks). Make a dressing out of sliced serrano chiles, minced garlic, cilantro, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and light soy sauce. Pour over eggplant and serve.
Here's an idea for an appetizer:
Thinly slice eggplant and grill on BBQ
Drizzle with olive oil, s&p, fresh herbs and let cool to room temp
While you are waiting, blend some goat cheese with finely diced shallots and chives, cracked pepper.
Place a dollop of the cheese mixture on each slice of roasted eggplant and make a roll .
Serve with a arugula salad sprikled with pinoli toasted pine nuts and an olive oil and aged balsamic vinaigrette
You can grill them and serve with olive oil and chopped fresh dill to be served as a middle eastern side dish ( with kibbeh, grilled meats, shish taouk ....you get the picture.
You can also make a ratatouille without adding tomatoes, with just zucchini, eggplant, red peppers and fresh herbs.
I regularly make this odd method which I was taught by a michelin-starred chef because of a series of very strange and lucky accidents :P
You slice an aubergine lengthways in half and put the two cut halves face-down in a hot pan, then put the lid on top (it has to fit tightly) and sort of dry-steam them for two minutes. The faces should have some browning to them and the black skin should look sweaty when you take the lid off. Then you turn them over and put the lid back on for another two minutes. Then, lightning-quick throw over two tablespoons of water, two tablespoons of olive oil, and a selection of spices - I like ground coriander, ground ginger, crushed fennel seeds, ground garlic and garam masala - , salt and pepper and slam the lid back on for another 5 minutes. The aubergines steam/braise in their own heat and become incredibly aromatic and savoury. Awesome chopped up and served as a side dish.
More for breakfast http://www.busogsarap.com/2010/04/egg...
Basically an eggplant omelette. Roast whole eggplant, peel, smash with fork (leave stem in tact). Brown crumbled meat, stuff on eggplant and soak in eggplant in egg. Pan fry. This includes tomatoes but the amount is so small that you can leave or include them. I make this without the meat. My mother uses beef.