Minty Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Aubergine)
photo by Sackville
- Ready In:
To prepare the eggplant
- 2 1⁄2 lbs eggplants
- 6 -8 tablespoons peanut oil or 6 -8 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 -2 teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon mint, fresh, very finely minced
- Preheat the broiler and position the rack on the top level.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with oil.
- If using Japanese eggplants, slice on the diagonal 1/3 inch thick.
- If using Italian eggplants, slice in half lengthwise, and then cut slices 1/3 inch thick.
- Lay as many as will fit on the baking sheet and brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Broil until lightly browned.
- Turn and repeat.
- If you have more slices than will fit on one baking sheet, repeat the process until all slices have been browned.
- Turn off broiler and pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Toast the cumin seeds in a small saute pan until they darken and give off an aroma.
- Cool the seeds and place in a bowl with the rest of the seasoning ingredients.
- Lay the eggplant slices in a baking dish in slightly over-lapping rows or concentric circles. Dribble or brush over each row the seasoning mixture until all slices are used.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. (Result is a lovely casserole/gratin of eggplant to serve as a side.
- In the alternative, place slices on baking sheet, brush with seasoning mixture and bake till mixture is absorbed. (Result is a canape which can be served on its own).
- Beware--the aroma is so good you will be tempted to pick one up and eat it to the despair of your fingertips and tongue.
- As a canape or a side, the eggplant can be served hot or at room temperature.
Questions & Replies
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I liked this but found it a bit more faffy to prepare than I expected. It took a while for the first stage of baking the eggplant, by the time I cut it into 40 or 50 slices and then brushed each one with oil and turned them. You have to watch the eggplant carefully as well because it can go from brown to black pretty quickly. The topping was yummy though, no faults at all with the spicing. I found 1 Italian eggplant made just enough for the 2 of us as a side dish to lamb and potatoes. The eggplant and spices complimented the lamb nicely.
Delicious combination, and one I wouldn't have thought of before tasting this dish. It IS easy to prepare, as well. I made this in a shallow 1.5 L baking dish, and had three layers (this might be helpful for those who, as I did, have trouble deciding which dish to use, and how much spice mix to pour over each layer). Thanks for posting!
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<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>