Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Source: Kitty Morse's North Africa: The Vegetarian Table, serve as a side dish with a sweet or savory tagine or as a light main course with a fresh green salad. It is a thick, spicy frittata oozing sweetly stewed onions, peppers and eggplant, chunky cubes of gruyère cheese and a wonderfully aromatic spice blend of cinnamon, pepper and rose petals.Tunisians apparently love to stick slices of it inside crusty bread spread with a little harissa and eat it as a sandwich.
- 1 large globe eggplant
- salt, for sprinkling
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and diced
- 8 large eggs
- 1 handful chopped fresh parsley (about 1/2 cup packed) or 1 coriander or 1 cilantro leaf
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1⁄2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Tunisian spice blend (bharat) or a mixture of
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon rosewater
- about 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- harissa (North African hot pepper paste) (optional) or cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
- lemon wedge
- Peel and cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch dice.
- Sprinkle generously with salt and place the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
- Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200°C
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the eggplant, onion, and pepper, stirring occasionally until golden and soft, about 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer this mixture to a colander to drain off as much of the oil as possible.
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and add the herbs, garlic, cheese and bread crumbs.
- Add the eggplant mixture.
- Season with the bharat, salt, and a small spoonful of the optional harissa or cayenne pepper.
- Grease a 2-quart soufflé dish.
- Pour the egg mixture into the dish and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown and puffed in the center, 40-45 minutes (a knife inserted into the center should come out clean).
- Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a serving platter (you can also just leave it in the dish).
- Cut into wedges or squares to serve.
- Serve hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges on the side.
Delicious! I wasn't sure about letting the eggplant sit since it starts to brown after you cut it, but it only browned a small amount and the salting and sitting step left the eggplant with a really lovely flavor. I doubled the recipe and baked it in my 13"x9" pyrex, and used colby jack cheese since that was all I had on hand. :)