Tag Archives: eggplant

Spicy Braised Eggplant, Tomatoes & Capsicum

Spicy Braised Eggplant, Tomatoes & CapsicumA few weeks ago, I was reading a restaurant review on noodlies for Kazar an Afghan restaurant located in Merrylands in Sydney’s West and when I read this description for the dish Burani Badjan I knew I wanted to make it. Thanks Thang Ngo (author of noodlies) for the
nspiration.

“Burani badjan is another dish that slides easily down the throat; seared eggplant with capsicum, tomato, garlic, topped with yogurt and sprinkled with mint and fresh coriander. It’s less showy but has plenty of interesting combination of textures and tastes to keep your taste buds happy.”

I love reading restaurant reviews from around the world and gain much inspiration for my dishes from them.

Asian Eggplant

Asian Eggplant

So I did a bit of research and when JR came home with these
beautiful Asian eggplant from the market (they were on the list) I
decided it was time to make it, and while I suspect this tastes
nothing like the burani badjan at Kazar this is my take on this very easy, but extremely moreish dish.

Spicy Braised Eggplant, Tomatoes & Capsicum

Regular eggplant could be used instead of these Asian ones.

A great side dish to serve alongside grilled or roast lamb.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

500g Asian eggplant
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 large red capsicum, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, seded (optional) and sliced
1 tsp turmeric
½ cup vegetable stock
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
natural yogurt

1              Cut eggplant into thick slices. Heat a frying pan over a
medium-high heat, add oil and heat until shimmering. Add eggplant, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until eggplant browns and starts to soften.

2              Add capsicum, tomatoes, garlic, chilli and turmeric to pan and mix well to combine. Add stock and bring to simmering, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until eggplant is very tender and is
sitting in a fragrant sauce.

3              Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in 2 tbsp chopped coriander.

4              Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with a dollop of yogurt and scattered with remaining coriander.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Asian eggplant, capsicum, tomatoes, garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Coriander: JJ Organics – Napier; Natural yogurt: Origin Earth – Havelock North; Chilli: Orcona Chillis n’ Peppers – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: vegetable oil, turmeric, vegetable stock, sea salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food
Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Eggplant Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Eggplant Salad

I do love eggplant and at this time of year, they are plentiful and
reasonably priced.

This eggplant salad is a great side for barbecued, pan-cooked or roasted lamb, but is substantial enough for a vegetarian main.

Eggplant Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Here I served it with pan-cooked lamb chops so I used Origin Earth’s sheep milk yoghurt – I always love the idea of using sheep milk products with lamb.

Serves 4-6

1 onion, thinly sliced
vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, sliced, seeds removed, if desired
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
2 medium eggplant, cubed
½ cup Origin Earth cow or sheep milk pot set yoghurt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and ground black pepper
chopped fresh coriander

1              Place onion and ¼ cup oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until
onion is soft and starting to brown.

2              Add garlic, chilli, ground coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.

3              Add eggplant, stir to coat with oil and spices, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until eggplant is cooked – initially the eggplant will gobble up all the oil, but as it cooks the
eggplant will collapse and release the oil. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

4              Meanwhile, place yoghurt, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and whisk to combine.

5              Add eggplant mixture to yoghurt and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve scattered with fresh coriander.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other eggplant recipes to try:

Spicy Stir-fried Asian Eggplant

Spicy Stir-fried Asian Eggplant

Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant & Zucchini Chermoula

Eggplant & Zucchini Chermoula

 

Eggplant & Zucchini Chermoula

Eggplant & Zucchini Chermoula

As most of you are aware I got a new cookbook last weekend –
Persiana – this recipe is loosely based on the Aubergine Chermoula which appears in that book.

This chermoula has a sweet and sour flavour reminiscent of the
Italian dish capanota and like capanota is also delicious served at room temperature – leftovers of were a stunning lunch the next day!

Eggplant & Zucchini Chermoula

For a delicious vegetable meal, serve with crusty bread and a salad of mixed leaves.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

olive oil
2 medium eggplant, cubed
sea salt
2 largish zucchini, cubed
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Orcona Smoked Sweet Paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 small red capsicum, sliced
500g tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey

1              Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat, add a good splash of oil. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and a good grind of salt, cover and cook,
stirring, occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Remove eggplant and zucchini from pan and set aside.

2              Reduce heat, add a little more oil and onion, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion starts to
caramelised.

3              Stir in garlic, cumin, paprika and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in capsicum and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes longer.

4              Increase heat, stir in tomatoes, cover, bring to simmering and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes collapse and form a sauce.

5              Stir in vinegar and honey and return eggplant and zucchini to pan. Mix well to combine, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe adapted by Rachel Blackmore

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Roasted Summer Vegetables & Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Summer Vegetables & ChickenThese wonderful summer vegetables are getting a right old work out in my kitchen, but that’s what eating locally and seasonally is all about.

And do you know there is even a word for it – scorpacciata
translated literally it means “big feed”, but it also refers to eating large amounts of local in-season food!

Roasted Summer Vegetables & Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

This could also be cooked in a large dish on a covered barbecue.

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium eggplant, thickly sliced
2 largish zucchini, thickly sliced – I used 1 green and 1 yellow
2 large red capsicums, cut into large pieces
CUCUMBER-YOGURT SAUCE
1 cup Greek-style natural yogurt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp shredded fresh mint
1 tsp ground cumin
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

1              Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush chicken with a little olive oil and season with a grind of salt and place on a large baking tray.

2              Place eggplant, zucchini and capsicum in a plastic bag, add a good drizzle of oil, twist top of bag and shake to coat vegetables with oil. Arrange vegetables around chicken in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are cooked.

3              Meanwhile, make sauce. Place yogurt, cucumber, green
onions, mint and cumin in bowl and mix to combine. Season with a good grind of salt and black pepper.

4              Divide vegetables and chicken between individual serving plates and serve a dollop of sauce on the side. Alternatively, pile
vegetables on a serving platter, top with chicken and serve sauce in a bowl on the side.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Chicken, Potato & Five Veg

Chicken with Five VegcThis isn’t really a recipe as such, but rather a quick and easy way to get a meal on the table for crowd. I usually have chicken thighs or drumsticks in the freezer and find them a great standby for last
minute meals.

This can also be cooked on a covered barbecue – for minimal clean use a large aluminium foil dish or line a large baking dish with a
double layer of foil.

For those who might need to consider those who don’t eat chicken, cook some of the vegetable mixture in a separate roasting pan and towards the end of the cooking time, scatter with some feta cheese.

Chicken, Potato & Five Veg

You could add a salad of mixed leaves on the side and some crusty bread to mop up the juices, if you wish.

Use whatever combination of vegetables that are in-season and those which you and your family and friends enjoy the most.

potatoes – allow 1 medium potato per serve
red onions – allow 1 large onion per 2-3 serves
capsicum – allow 1 large capsicum per 2 serves
zucchini – allow 1 small zucchini per serve
eggplant – allow 1 large eggplant per 3-4 serves
tomatoes – allow 1 large tomato per 2 serves
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
chicken thighs and/or drumsticks – allow one to two pieces per serve depending on the size and appetites of those you are feeding

1              Preheat oven to 200°C.

2              Choose a baking dish that will accommodate the quantity of vegetables you have in a single layer. Chop vegetables into chucks of about the same size. Place vegetables in baking dish, drizzle with
olive oil and season with a good grind of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread vegetables out in an even single layer.

3              Season chicken with salt and arrange in a single layer on top of the vegetables. Bake for about 1 hour or until vegetables and chicken are cooked.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Eggplant Filled with Mushrooms and Spinach

Stuffed Eggplant 014aMake the most of eggplants while they are still in season and
inexpensive. In the height of summer I find filled or stuffed eggplant a bit heavy but now as the days are getting cooler they make a warming and satisfying meal.

For this recipe, eggplant flesh is mixed with mushrooms, spinach and cheese in a white sauce, then put into eggplant shells, topped with breadcrumbs and cheese and baked to make a gorgeous creamy dish that will be enjoyed by both non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike.

Eggplant Filled with Mushrooms and Spinach

Any excess filling is delicious served on toast or tossed through pasta. For a complete meal serve with a salad of tossed mixed leaves.

Serves 4

olive oil
1 bunch (400-500g) spinach, stems removed leaves, chopped
2 medium (about 400-500g each) eggplants
salt
500g mushrooms, diced
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 free-range egg, lightly whisked
2 cups thick white sauce
¾ cup grated Parmesan
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp melted butter

1              Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a baking dish lightly with olive oil.

2              Steam or microwave spinach until wilted. Drain and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Place in a large bowl.

3              Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife
carefully remove flesh from each half leaving a 3mm thick shell. Set shells aside. Dice flesh, place in a colander and sprinkle with salt.

4              Heat 2 tbsp oil in frying pan over a medium heat then add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until mushrooms release their juices. Add sage and garlic and continue cooking until juices evaporate. Add mushroom mixture to bowl with spinach.

5              Rinse eggplant and pat dry. Heat an additional 2 tbsp oil in the frying pan over a medium heat. Add eggplant to pan and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant browns and softens. Add to bowl with mushrooms. Mix to combine. Let cool slightly then add egg and mix to combine.

6              Add white sauce and ½ cup Parmesan to vegetable mixture and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7              Place breadcrumbs, parsley and melted butter in a small bowl and mix to combine.

8              Divide vegetable mixture between eggplant shells and place in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over filled eggplants, then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until tops are golden and vegetable mixture is bubbling. Set aside to stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other eggplant dishes you might like to try:

Braised Lamb with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Braised Lamb with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Fragrant Eggplant Curry

Fragrant Eggplant Curry

 

Braised Lamb with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Lamb & Eggplant Stew 007aLamb, eggplant and tomatoes are a combination of ingredients that can be found in many cuisines – Middle Eastern, Indian and
Moroccan to name just a few and with good reason they are a great combination and especially so at this time of year when eggplant and tomatoes are at their best.

For this one-dish meal I have taken inspiration from the Middle East. Serve it over couscous, rice or just with lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Add a salad of mixed leaves and a glass of red wine and you have a meal that it is sure to please.

Braised Lamb with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Lamb shoulder chops are not the prettiest of cuts but they are packed with flavour and when nestled in the fragrant sauce no-one will know the difference. They are also an economic option.

Serves 4

4 (about 750g) lamb shoulder chops
¼ cup olive oil
1 large (about 200g) onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks (about 150g) celery, sliced
1 (400-500g) eggplant, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
500g tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
juice ½-1 lemon,  to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1              Place a 28 cm skillet which has deep sides and a lid over a medium heat and heat until pan is hot. Add 1 tbsp oil, then lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until brown. Remove lamb from pan and set aside.

2              Add onion and celery, cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Remove onion mixture from pan and set aside.

3              Add remaining oil to pan and heat until hot. Add eggplant, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until
eggplant starts to soften. Return onion and celery mixture to pan, add garlic, cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mixture is fragrant.

4              Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to release their juices and break down. Add stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

5              Return lamb to pan, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes or until lamb is tender. If at the end of the cooking time there still appears to a lot of liquid, remove lid from pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until liquid reduces. The lamb chops should be sitting in a thick fragrant sauce. Stir in fresh coriander and lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Happy cooking and eating,

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other lamb recipes you might like to try:

Baked Lamb Chops with Mushrooms & Potatoes

Baked Lamb Chops with Mushrooms & Potatoes

Braised Lamb & Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon

Braised Lamb & Chickpeas with Preserved Lemon

 

 

Summer Vegetables in Sweet & Sour Sauce

S&S Eggplant 007a

This dish is really, really good, looks great and is a different way to prepare and serve eggplant.

It is best served lukewarm or at room temperature and seems to get even better if made a day or two in advance – take it out of the fridge an hour or two before serving to allow it to come back to room temperature.

Another thing I love about this dish is that it can be served in so many ways. It is the perfect vegetarian main course when served with saffron flavoured rice and salad of mixed leaves. As a side it is great served alongside grilled lamb chops or chicken thighs. Try it as an easy first course for a summer dinner party or include as part of an antipasto or mezze platter. Pack leftovers for lunch and watch your work colleagues eyeing your lunch with envy!

Summer Vegetables in Sweet & Sour Sauce
The soft velvety texture of the eggplant is a great contrast with the sharp saltiness of the preserved lemon – the capsicum adds wonderful colour and by the end of cooking the onions have melded to become part of the whole dish.

Serves 4

1 medium (about 200g) red onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
1 medium (350-400g) eggplant, slice lengthwise into 1.5cm thick slices
1 medium (175-200g) red capsicum, cut into 5mm thick strips
½ preserved lemon, skin thinly sliced
SWEET & SOUR SAUCE
¼ cup demerara sugar
¼ cup sultanas
20g butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup apple cider vinegar

1              Heat a little olive oil in the base of a large shallow pan – there should to just enough oil to cover the base. Scatter onion over the base of the pan to make a layer.
2              Top onions with the eggplant slices then scatter with the capsicum strips and the shredded lemon. Drizzle with a little olive oil then carefully pour over ½ cup water. Cover, place over a medium heat, bring to simmering and simmer for 15 minutes.
3              Meanwhile make the sauce, place sugar, sultanas, butter, garlic, vinegar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan over a medium heat, bring to simmering and simmer for 10 minutes.
4              Carefully pour sauce over vegetables, cover pan and simmer for 30-40 minutes longer or until eggplant is cooked – the eggplant should be tender but still holding its shape. Remove pan from the heat and set aside to cool until lukewarm.
5              Using a slotted lifter, remove eggplant slices with all the
other bits and pieces, but not the liquid, to a flat serving platter –
arrange attractively on the platter. There should be quite a lot of
liquid still in the pan, place the pan back over a medium heat, bring to the boil and boil to reduce and thicken the liquid. Pour liquid over
vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other eggplant recipes you might like to try:

Fragrant Eggplant Curry

Fragrant Eggplant Curry

Summer Ratatouille

Summer Ratatouille

Caponata

Caponata

 

Summer Ratatouille

Summer Ratatouille

This classic Provençal recipe celebrates the foods of summer –
eggplant, zucchini, capsicums, and tomatoes and is a dish to make at this time of the year when these vegetables are in-season and
affordable.

When I was researching this recipe I noticed that the late Jane Grigson in her recipe in Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book Penguin Books 1980 included a small quantity of crushed coriander seeds which seemed to me a great addition. My verison includes crushed
coriander seeds, but considerably more than Jane’s recipe, which I suspect is because of my love of this spice and the familiarity
that we now have with it.

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book  is a classic vegetable reference book and one well worth having in your cookbook library it contains
general information, history, preparation notes and recipes for
seventy-five vegetables and while first published in 1978 you will be surprised how familiar many of the recipes are and how many are what we think of as being modern. As you can see from the picture below my copy of this much-loved book is well used.JG Veg Book 002a

As the title says this is a vegetable book and while there is much in it that will suit vegetarians  it is not for them alone. Many of the dishes are great accompaniments to meat dishes and a number of the
dishes include meat, chicken or fish. As I flick through my copy of this invaluable book I see recipes for a German dish called
Kürbisbrei mit Äpfelin (Pumpkin and Apple) which includes bacon, Paprika Chicken Hungarian Style and several stuffed cabbage
recipes using various forms of mince and sausages just name a few.

Summer Ratatouille
You want to use about the same quantity of eggplant, tomatoes,
capsicum and zucchini for this dish and while the finished dish is a stew the vegetables should retain some of their identity.

Serves 4-6

½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
2 red onions (300-400g), sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 eggplants (500g), cut into 2cm pieces – skin left on
500g tomatoes, cut into chunks
3-4 red capsicums (500g), cut into thick strips
2 medium zucchini (500g), cut into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
2 tbsp shredded fresh basil leaves or chopped fresh parsley leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1              Place oil and onions in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until onions soften.

2              Add garlic and eggplant, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes longer or until eggplant softens.

3              Add the tomatoes, bring to simmering, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes release their juices and start to make a sauce.

4              Add capsicum and zucchini, cover and cook for 10 minutes longer or until capsicum and zucchini are cooked through. Stir in coriander, remove lid and if necessary, cook for 5-10 minutes longer to cook off any excess liquid.

5              Stir in half the basil or parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature scattered with the remaining basil or parsley.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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 Other eggplant recipes you might like: