Ari’s Greek Eggplant
In case you missed it, last Monday was a veritable “United Nations” of meals, complete with Curry Cauliflower and Chickpeas and Greek Eggplant.
Eggplant = love. Bad eggplant is something no one should have to suffer through, but once you’ve had a truly good eggplant dish– where the flesh is meltingly tender, never oily– only then have you experienced one of life’s primal pleasures.
Previous eggplant recipes:
Authentic or not, Ari threw together a really fantastically filling Mediterranean eggplant dish, which she said was based on something she’d eaten at a Greek restaurant. Eggplant halves are smeared with a garlic-olive oil mixture, baked, then topped with a cumin-laced tomato sauce and feta cheese, if you so desire.
Broiling the eggplant at the last minute makes the top golden and slightly crispy, which, when cut with a knife, reveals the unctuous interior just below. Heady with the scent of olive oil and piquant cumin, it feels as satisfying as biting into a steak.
Since Ari didn’t use a recipe, all proportions are approximate. My philosophy is always more garlic, cumin, and black pepper. AND CHILI PASTE.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
For the sauce:
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried basil (or substitute fresh)
- 1/2-1 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper
For the eggplant:
- 1 eggplant
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Additional sauteed onions, optional
- Feta cheese, optional
- Make the sauce by it with heating olive oil on medium high heat, then adding the onions and garlic. (optional: set side a small portion of sauteed onions to top the eggplant later.) Next, add tomato paste, salt, basil, pepper, bay leaves, and cumin. Bring to a boil and reduce. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400.
- Cut the eggplant in half and lightly coat it with olive oil on top, lemon juice, and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
- Bake on a baking sheet for about 20-25 mins or until soft
- Take the eggplant out and mush up the inside with a fork and mix then put the tomato-stuffed eggplant back in the oven until sizzling and then garnish with extra sauteed onions and garlic and feta cheese, if you so desire.