Grilled EggplantThis delicious appetizer or side dish is made with juicy grilled eggplant, tomato, basil and more. The eggplant is sliced thickly and grilled to perfection. You can use a gas grill or a charcoal grill for this recipe, but make sure the grill is nice and hot before adding the eggplant, so it cooks well. If you want to get grill marks on the eggplant slices, turn them only once on each side. Grill marks do not affect the flavor but they can make your grilled vegetable recipe look extra appealing.
The basil tomato salsa is sandwiched between the eggplant slices and this is made with tomatoes, onion, basil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. This simple, non-spicy salsa recipe has a fresh flavor which goes beautifully with the eggplant. If you want to add some zing, you can add some minced jalapeno (or even a splash of hot sauce) to the salsa, but that is your choice.
Make the stacks whatever size you want, but using three eggplant slices and two teaspoons of salsa per stack works well. You might choose to use fresh thyme sprigs to secure the stacks or you might prefer fresh rosemary. If you do not want to do this, toothpicks will also hold them together or you can omit those as well. Garnish the dish however you like. Balsamic vinegar is nice to drizzle on the plates because its sweet flavor echoes the sweetness from the eggplant and the salsa and it also looks decorative on the plate. Continue reading
‘Plenty: Vibrant Vegetables Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi’ is a vegetarian cookbook written by Yotam Ottolenghi and features such delights as roasted sweet potato wedges, creamy charred eggplant and fava bean burgers. The recipes are easy to prepare and flavorful enough for a non-formal dinner party and the photos in the book are great. Born in Israel but a well-known restaurateur based on London, England, Ottolenghi believes in using top quality ingredients and cleverly combining ingredients to bring out their flavors.
Whether he is cooking a steak or making a vegetable side dish, this chef treats every ingredient differently, making the most of its natural attributes. An eggplant (or as Ottolenghi calls it, an aubergine) for example, is not a steak and it does not have to compete with a steak dish. Instead it is combined with other ingredients which bring out its flavor to the fullest potential.
This video shows you how to make eggplant in buttermilk sauce. Fresh lemon thyme and black pepper bring out the eggplant’s flavor and the dish really looks good in the video after it is roasted and has the buttermilk yogurt sauce and some pomegranate seeds and za’atar on top. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern herb mixture containing sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds and salt. You could omit this ingredient and if would still be a yummy dish. Serve this with a lamb or chicken dish or, for vegetarians, with some white bread or pita. If you like this recipe you might wish to buy the book, since this is one of the many recipes in there. Continue reading
This amazing stuffed eggplant recipe is best served at room temperature. You can make it ahead if you want to, and store it in the refrigerator, but let it come to room temperature before you serve it. It would be nice chilled but letting it warm up slightly means the cheese will be a better texture and the flavors will be more intense.
The garlic in this recipe needs to be blanched, which means you should put the garlic clove in a pot of boiling water and cook it for a couple of minutes. Take it out of the water and rinse it under cold water to cool it down. This takes the garlic’s sharp flavor away. The sharpness of garlic is great in some dishes but not so much in recipes with cheese because it can overwhelm the more subtle cheese flavors.
Eggplant is a versatile ingredient and it goes well with many other flavors. Cheese and tomato go especially well with this vegetable and you can serve eggplant in a sauce, in rolled slices or as part of a stew or curry recipe. In the following recipe the eggplant slices are roasted to make them pliable and juicy and then filled. Continue reading
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