Eggplant Three Ways


Looking for a new way to try eggplant this summer? Take your pick from this terrific trio of recipes from Executive Chef Jason Weiner who features prix fixe Meatless Monday menus each week at his terrific trio of restaurants: Almond NYC, Almond Bridgehampton and Almond Tribeca!

Each recipe yields 6 servings.

Eggplant Fritters with Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Italian Eggplant (peeled and small dice)
  • ½ medium yellow onion (small dice)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped flat parsley
  • 2 Tbs + 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 qt. canola oil for frying
  • ¼ cup soft goat cheese

 

Preparation

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, sauté the eggplant, onions, garlic in the olive oil until the vegetables take on a golden color.

Allow to cool and fold in the parsley, cheese, 2 tbs of Panko, salt and pepper

Prepare the flour, eggs and remaining Panko in three separate bowls.

Form the eggplant mix into patties and bread them by tossing them first in the flour, then eggs, and finally the bread crumbs.

In a deep heavy bottomed sauce pot,  bring your frying oil to about 325 degrees.

Fry the fritters in batches until they are golden brown and blot them on paper towels.

Anoint with a dollop or schmear of goat cheese and serve piping hot.

Caponata

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pound eggplant (unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 medium red onion (cubed)
  • 2 ribs celery (large dice)
  • 4 large garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings in juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

 

Preparation

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion, celery and garlic cloves. sauté until eggplant is soft and brown, about 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with juice, then red wine vinegar, sugar and drained capers.

Cover and simmer until eggplant and onion are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in fresh basil.

Transfer caponata to serving bowl. Serve  at room temperature on grilled bread. (Caponata can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Baba Ghanoush

Ingredients

  • 1 
large eggplant
  • ¼ 
cup mayonnaise, plus more as needed
  • 3 
garlic cloves (minced)
  • ¼  cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 
pinch ground cumin
  • 
salt, to taste
  • 1 
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

 

Preparation 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.

Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.

Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the smoked paprika. Serve at room temperature on a warm crouton or cracker.

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Eggplant Three Ways

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