Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Little Eggplants w/ Shallot Caper Vinaigrette & Herbs

I can't resist buying these little purple eggplants when I see them at the market.

These were labeled "Indian" eggplants. They looked like the Japanese variety to me, similar size, just a bit plumper and rounder.

These were very mild tasting, unlike Italian eggplants, which tend to have a bite.

These are gorgeous paired with any Middle Eastern menu, or just on their own. Feel free to use any eggplant variety that you like.

Make extra, cause tomorrow, you will be making the most delicious roasted eggplant dip with the leftovers.......
I'm addicted to this recipe. So good.

Little Eggplants w/ Shallot Caper Vinaigrette & Herbs: (adapted from Two Dudes, One Pan)

4 small Indian or Japanese eggplants, sliced in half horizontally (I leave a bit of the stem on)
kosher salt
canola or grapeseed oil
3 shallots, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp capers, drained
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
fresh chopped parsley, basil & mint for the top and feta cheese for sprinkling

2 important tips: use a stainless steel heavy skillet, not a non-stick pan.
Use canola or grapeseed oil, which have high burn temperatures, unlike olive oil.
Ok, that's it.

Sprinkle the halved eggplants with kosher salt and set aside.

In a heavy stainless steel skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.
Place the eggplants face down in the skillet for 5-6 minutes, without disturbing them.
Turn them over w/ tongs and cook on the skin side for 3 minutes. Remove to a platter.

In the same skillet, heat the shallots and garlic for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add in the lemon juice, capers and balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat.
Swirl in the butter and sugar to make a glossy pan sauce.

Pour this sauce over the pan seared eggplant and sprinkle w/ fresh herbs and feta cheese. Season w/ sea salt & pepper.

These are best served warm, but also great the next day made into an eggplant spread with roasted peppers on some crusty bread.

If you have some leftover, scoop out the flesh and discard the skins (easy to do, once they have been refrigerated).

In a mini food processor, add the pulp along w/ any shallots, capers and herbs that are left.

Add in a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of olive oil.
Season w/ salt & pepper and whiz until you get a nice puree.

Spread on bread or pita chips. I love this.

I wish Henry would eat eggplant, but it burns his gums.
Poor guy.


Tracy said...

Perfect timing, I have some mini eggplants in my fridge right now. I will definitely be trying this soon!

mil said...

Eggplant burns Henry's gums?
oy... I learn something new about my "baby" from your blog.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Looks great Stacey - and I loved MIL's comment about her "baby."

Natalia B said...

I'm the only one in my family that likes eggplant, so will try this, but obviously in a smaller portion.

I like the combo of the different flavors you are making in this dish. Personally, Japanese eggplants are my favorite but I'll have to see what's available in the market.