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Jul 8, 2012 05:55 AM

Eggplant and tomatoes

I'm about to be besieged by eggplant and tomatoes from the garden. Can you folks post your best recipe suggestions? Ixnay on eggplant parm--I'm well versed there. Recipes don't have to have both ingredients in them. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, Chris

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  1. This one is in my Epicurious Hall of Fame category...OMG, I *love* this and have made it without the chicken just because I love the spicy flavors so much...the fennel seeds, I just smash up in a plastic bag with back of a knife instead of actually grinding them, just saying. Works better with thighs also IMO...if you like Moroccan, this might be good for you too:

    18 Replies
      1. re: stormshadow

        The other note on this recipe: I don't think I've EVER made it with 8 thighs and 8 drumsticks...probably 4 or 5 thighs at the MOST...yeah, that's a crazy amount of poultry, really...but do as you please, that sauce gets my pupils all dilated.....and it's awesome over basmati rice.

      2. re: Val

        This recipe sounds yummy and child-friendly. I saved it to try very soon - thank you for sharing!

        1. re: Val

          Thanks Val, I love my Million Dollar Moroccan Chicken, but this sounds more authentic, and delicious. I am going to try meatless, it will be a nice addition to my vegetarian repertoire.

          I do have a recipe downstairs for a layered casserole, eggplant, tomato and something else, with a sort of creamy sauce between. Labor intensive but different. I will pull it out after I finish a few pressing matters!

          1. re: coll

            The recipe seems to be missing, it was a pain to make but don't know that I would throw it out!

            What I usually do with excess eggplant and tomato is: eggplant grilled or baked by itself (leftovers to be made into baba ganoush), tomatoes roasted and preserved in oil, caponata, ratatouille, or the Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce which I see included below.

            If I ever come across that recipe, I'll post it. I think it included mushrooms too.

            1. re: coll

              I make a simple layered eggplant dish- broiled slices of eggplant, browned ground beef, tomato sauce and fresh basil. Layer all in a pyrex dish and bake till bubbly. I like to broil lots of eggplant and prepare sauce when the ingredients are in season, so that I could put dishes together all year.

              1. re: coll

                Were you thinking of the Eggplant, Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Parmesan Torte from Epicurious, perhaps? It's one of my favorite recipes on that site, and while it is a bit labor-intensive, the results are always more than worth it.


                1. re: bitchincook

                  Sounds like a great dish, Bitchincook! I think that grilling veggies on a BBQ would speed things up and will try it that way.

                  1. re: herby

                    No this was from a local newspaper, many moons ago. It was eggplant that was fried in some fashion, raw tomato layered in, if anything else it definitely wasn't zuccini or bell pepper....the sauce was like bechamel with mushroom. I did a purge over the winter but can't believe I may have thrown it out. I'll look in the paper right now.

              2. re: Val

                Val, thanks for posting this. I am going to make this today. I was thinking about browning the chicken (have some chicken legs)......wonder if that would add to the flavor base?

                1. re: xiaobao12

                  xiaobao12, YES, do brown the chicken first...I pretty much always do!

                  1. re: Val

                    Hey Val - nice to hear from you. I got these whole legs / breast (whole foods) Since there is a significant amount of white meat, maybe I shouldn't brown it (overcooking it)? The skin is on there though....what do you think?

                    1. re: xiaobao12

                      hmmm...I've only made this with thighs to be honest and I only use like 4 of them; to me, that recipe uses way too much meat but if you brown the breast, just sear it off for a very short time. And I've made this many times without ANY chicken in it, that's how much I love the eggplant/tomato/spice mixture in this.

                      1. re: Val

                        Hi Val - I seared the huge legs, skin side very quickly to get color. I then simmered for 1 hr. Smelled great. I removed the chicken, put the stove on high and reduced the liquid to concentrate. Heat off, I have just added the chicken back in with the roasted eggplant (I only had one medium sized eggplant, which somebody gave me). Tonight's dinner will be this with some homemade country bread. Then off to the concert!

                        Thanks for your input - your comments are very helpful, in whatever thread.

                2. re: Val

                  Hi Val, just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation! I made this last night for vegetarian houseguests with chickpeas instead of chicken - everyone loved it! I used half smoked and half regular paprika and they thought I had chargrilled the eggplant! I also used only 2 tb lemon juice and thought it was quite tart so I added a spoonful of honey to balance it out. Anyway, great recipe! I served it over quinoa and it worked well.

                  1. re: Westminstress

                    wow that sounds yummy...I didn't have any Hungarian paprika - just regular. Do you think this makes or breaks the dish??

                    1. re: xiaobao12

                      No, not at all. I'm sure any kind of paprika is fine.

                    2. re: Westminstress

                      so glad it worked for you Westminstress...for me, I *KNOW* it's the crushed fennel seed that just GRABS me...well, and the eggplant too! see that? I could care *less* about the chicken...I just want that roasted eggplant and tomato flavor!!!! thanks very much!

                    1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                      omg.....:) Do you have any favorites that stick out?

                      1. re: stormshadow

                        Not really - I pretty much like anything with eggplant, that I've tried so far, at least.

                        I was going to make the Jungle Curry tonight but - no thai basil. It went bad already! (I forgot to put it in my herb keeper when I got home, dang it).

                        The last thing I made was a stir fry with tofu shirataki noodles (you can use bean thread noodles or thin rice noodles).

                        Basically, an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 T of ginger paste, 1T of Thai roasted red chili paste (or 2 or 3 fresh chilis), I stir fry all that in about 1 or 2 T of oil until the garlic begins to brown.

                        Then I added 2 T of fish sauce and 1 T of palm sugar (about 15 g) dissolved in a small amount of water (I smash the palm sugar with the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, then scrape the smooshed parts off the SMOOTH surfaced cutting board and off the head of the meat tenderizer, toss all those bits into a small bowl with a little water and microwave to dissolve any recalcitrant hard chunks). Toss that all in the pan, then add your noodles.

                        Tofu shirataki noodles don't need to be soaked or cooked because they come pretty much ready to go - they are packed in water. So you drain them and they're ready. They do have kind of a fishy odor and at first I used to rinse them and boil them but it really didn't have much of an effect on the odor, and I discovered there's no taste from whatever causes the smell anyway, so now I just drain them, give them a quick rinse, and toss them in. It's kind of like fish sauce (only not so strong) - the stuff stinks like crazy when you put it in, but the odor disappears once you cook it.

                        If you're using regular noodles you would prepare them as usual (basically soak them til they're pliable, see She Simmers website, her pad thai 5 part series tells you how to tell when rice noodles are soaked enough) Don't blanch rice noodles or bean thread noodles, even if the package tells you to - I had the WORST time trying to figure out why my noodles were always gummy until I finally just quit blanching them and went to soaking them. Since I came up with that idea on my own (nobody told me how to do it), I still had some problems even then, because I didn't know how LONG to soak them. She Simmers explained that, now I get great results every time. Trader Joe's should be ashamed, telling people to boil their rice noodles! LOL! (I get my rice noodles from Asian markets now but when I first came here, my son had about 5 lbs of rice noodles from Trader Joe's ... so that's where I got my "instructions" for how to cook rice noodles, and they were WRONG WRONG WRONG! LOL!)

                        Anyway, now I have bubbling fish sauce, palm sugar, etc in the pan. I dump my noodles in and stir them around to get good and soaked in the sauce, then I added my cut up eggplant (I used about a lb of the small purple egg shaped thai type).

                        Tofu shirataki noodles have 0 flavor of their own (comes from having 0 carbs and only 40 calories in 8 oz of cooked noodle) and they won't fall apart when cooked this way. I'm not sure rice noodles would hold up as well if they're added first, and I'm almost positive that bean thread noodles wouldn't (the thin sort at least). So if you're using either of those you might want to add the eggplant first and let it cook about half way, then dump in the noodles - just be careful to put the lid on so the sauce doesn't go dry on you before you get the noodles in the pan.

                        I would have used some lemongrass in this as well but I didn't have any prepared so I skipped that.

                        The last thing I did was cover the pan, set the timer, and wait for the eggplant to cook. Well, actually that was the 2nd to the last thing I did - the LAST thing I did was forget totally that I had something on the stove, and not hear the timer when it went off. Until I smelled a burning smell.

                        Scooped the now partially blackened mass out of the pan with great disappointment. I was sure I had ruined my dinner. Nonetheless, I had made it, so I was going to try to eat it, even if I had to eat around the charred, black parts.

                        Only, despite the appearance, it turns out I had NOT actually burned it. Almost - but it had, in fact, caramelized very nicely. It was amazingly good, despite the way it looked. Next time, I'll be aiming for the same result, only ON PURPOSE this time. (I am getting a louder timer though)

                        Of course this time I'll probably burn it for REAL, LOL!

                        I only took the picture AFTER I started eating it, as I assumed I had a failure on my hands. I haven't even got this up on my blog yet! It looks kind of ugly - some shredded carrots would add color and make it more attractive, or if I'd had some Crunchy Sweet Potato bits to sprinkle on there, that would have been good. Which reminds me, I need to make some more of those ...

                          1. re: stormshadow

                            NP - hope you get a chance to make it, and find it as enjoyable as I did.

                    2. Grill both, and make a sandwich with some garlic aioli.

                      1. Add some onions and zucchini and make ratatouille. Easy, tasty, and makes great leftovers.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Yes, replying to my own post...!

                          Tonight I had a big ziploc full of cherry tomatoes, chunks of peppers (in 3 colors, no less), chunks of zucchini, and chunks of eggplant left over from this weekend's meal of marinated lamb kebabs with vegetables on the grill.

                          Tossed them into a roasting pan and drizzled them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence (no lavender). Roasted at 400F for about 35 minutes...not really ratatouille, not really a tian (see downthread) -- but a tasty way to use up some leftover veggies, with enough left over for my lunch tomorrow (win!).

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            The combo you mentioned is great warm over arugula with chickpeas or white beans

                          2. re: sunshine842

                            +1, I just had some leftover ratatouille in a whole wheat pita that I had also smeared with TJ's horseradish hoummous. Awesome lunch, and ratatoille only gets better as you re-heat. Or you can toss it with pasta and make a cold salad if you add a smidge more oil.

                          3. Deborah Madison has a wonderful recipe for sweet-and-sour eggplant in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Eggplant, tomatoes, honey, onion, vinegar, mint, olive oil, and feta cheese are the ingredients.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nofunlatte

                              I have not tried that one, but I can't get enough of DM's Stir-Fried Roasted Eggplant, also from VCFE. Tomato in that one, too. It's great hot, room temp, cold. As a relish, bruschetta topping, side, or pasta sauce.

                              I also love CHOW's Eggplant, Tomato, and Red Pepper sauce. Sometimes I start with an ounce of diced pancetta, seared and rendered, per quart of sauce.