Plant It Forward

Roselle and Eggplant

Roselle and Eggplant

This recipe is from the family of Farmer Christine Kengue, whch was shared with CulinaryCorps chefs during our 2017 Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Widely used throughout Africa and Asia, roselle’s unique flavor can best be described as Sour Patch Kids in vegetable form. A species of the hibiscus plant, its green leaves, woody stems, and bright-red flowers add a sour twang to stews, stocks, soups, and beverages. Here it pairs well with cooked eggplant, brightening the dish much like adding lemon. If roselle is not available at the moment, it’s less sour cousin, sorrel, can be used instead though you may want to have a lemon on hand to amp up the sour factor.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches roselle 4 pounds eggplant ¼ cup olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2-4 cubes Maggi Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the roselle then separate leaves from flowers and stem. Reserve leaves. Set aside flowers and stems for another dish.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Blanch roselle leaves for 2 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water. The leaves will turn from green to black. Squeeze leaves dry and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the eggplant and cut into ½-inch cubes. Boil eggplant until very soft, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well, set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add chopped onions and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the roselle and eggplant to the pan along with the crumbled Maggi cubes and ¼ cup water. Stir well to combine. Simmer lightly, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture is as thick as mashed potatoes, about 20-25 minutes. Before serving, season with pepper and salt to taste.

Notes

This dish is traditionally served as a accompaniment to fried fish but can also be dished over rice or boiled and mashed plantains. It also tastes even better the next morning.

http://plant-it-forward.org/roselle-and-eggplant-2/

Caponata Siciliana

Caponata Siciliana

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

This sweet and sour eggplant dish originated in Sicily. It’s a beautiful dish for summer because it uses all the best vegetables of July and August – eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups diced eggplant (skin on)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced spring onion (red or yellow onion can also work)
  • 1½ cup seeded and diced bell peppers, assorted colors
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons capers, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus more to soak raisins
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped pitted black olives
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large, deep skillet or fry pan, heat extra virgin olive oil (should be enough oil to reach a ¼ inch up the side of the pan). When the oil is hot, cook the eggplant in batches until browned all over; drain on paper towels.
  2. Place the ¼ cup olive oil in a medium skillet along with the onion, peppers, and celery. Set over heat and sauté until the vegetables are wilted and beginning to color at the edges, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes, thyme, and capers, and season with a little salt and black pepper.
  4. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook to reduce.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked eggplant, raisins, olives, pine nuts, basil, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Cook 5 minutes to marry the flavors. The eggplant and celery should be tender but still firm. Taste again for salt and black pepper.

Notes

Caponata can be served warm, but it is traditionally served at room temperature. It’s even better the day after it’s made, when the flavors have had time to mingle and develop. Served it on toasted bread bruschetta, or as a side dish for grilled fish or meats

http://plant-it-forward.org/caponata-siciliana/

Roselle and Eggplant

Roselle and Eggplant

This recipe is from the family of Farmer Christine Kengue, whch was shared with CulinaryCorps chefs during our 2017 Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Widely used throughout Africa and Asia, roselle’s unique flavor can best be described as Sour Patch Kids in vegetable form. A species of the hibiscus plant, its green leaves, woody stems, and bright-red flowers add a sour twang to stews, stocks, soups, and beverages. Here it pairs well with cooked eggplant, brightening the dish much like adding lemon. If roselle is not available at the moment, it’s less sour cousin, sorrel, can be used instead though you may want to have a lemon on hand to amp up the sour factor.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches roselle
  • 4 pounds eggplant
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-4 cubes Maggi
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the roselle then separate leaves from flowers and stem. Reserve leaves. Set aside flowers and stems for another dish.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Blanch roselle leaves for 2 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water. The leaves will turn from green to black. Squeeze leaves dry and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the eggplant and cut into ½-inch cubes. Boil eggplant until very soft, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well, set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add chopped onions and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the roselle and eggplant to the pan along with the crumbled Maggi cubes and ¼ cup water. Stir well to combine. Simmer lightly, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture is as thick as mashed potatoes, about 20-25 minutes. Before serving, season with pepper and salt to taste.

Notes

This dish is traditionally served as a accompaniment to fried fish but can also be dished over rice or boiled and mashed plantains. It also tastes even better the next morning.

http://plant-it-forward.org/roselle-and-eggplant/

Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 (400 grams in total) Chinese (long) eggplant, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, plus more to coat the eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (*see footnote)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

Instructions

  1. Chop eggplant into bite-sized pieces.
  2. (Option 1) Place eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  3. (Option 2) Spread the sliced eggplant out on a paper towel. Sprinkle Kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices. Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes. Pat dry without rinsing.
  4. Combine light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl, mix well.
  5. Sprinkle eggplant with cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until warm. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping. Grill the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining batch(es) with the same method (I cooked two batches by using a 24" skillet). If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn to medium heat.
  7. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and the ginger and garlic into the same skillet. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add all the eggplant back into the skillet. Turn to medium heat. Mix the sauce again until cornstarch is fully dissolved and pour it over the eggplant. Immediately stir a few times, until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens. Turn to lowest heat and taste a piece of eggplant (be careful, it’s very hot). To adjust seasoning, turn to medium heat again, sprinkle eggplant with a pinch of salt and mix well (if you will serve this dish as a side, it should be salty enough. But for serving over steamed rice, add about 1/4 teaspoon salt).
  8. Serve warm as a side or as main over steamed rice or noodles.

Notes

The dark soy sauce will add color to the dish and make it look more appetizing. You can skip it if you don’t have any in your pantry. Original Recipe

http://plant-it-forward.org/chinese-eggplant-with-garlic-sauce/

Chickpea and Eggplant Salad

Chickpea and Eggplant Salad

Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main dish

I added olives and feta - and it's a wonderful, fresh salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
  • A good glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Slivered almonds, to serve

Instructions

  1. Cover the onion with water and set aside for half an hour—this reduces the harshness of its taste when eaten raw.
  2. Next prepare the eggplant. Spread the half-moon slices out on a baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Place on a high rack under the broiler for 5 minutes, then take out and brush again with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice—you can make it quite wet, as the eggplant will absorb all the liquid. Place back under the broiler until the edges of the slices are slightly blackened and the flesh is soft. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. On the same baking sheet, spread out the chickpeas and broil until they're golden. Add them to the bowl of eggplant.
  4. Dice the tomatoes into small cubes and add to the bowl along with the parsley, drained red onion slices, garlic oil, cayenne pepper, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper and mix well. Serve warm, with a sprinkling of slivered almonds.

Notes

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chickpea-and-eggplant-salad

http://plant-it-forward.org/chickpea-and-eggplant-salad/

Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint

Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint

Yield: Makes about 4 appetizer/salad portions, assuming people will eat two rounds each.

This is like eggplant bruschetta, except the eggplant is the bruschetta, topped with a Mediterranean summer salsa of a salad.

Feta is a great alternative to ricotta salata. If you’re put off by the sharpness of fresh onion, pour the red wine vinegar over it in a dish, and let it sit for 10 minutes, tossing it from time to time, before adding it to the salad. No need to add additional vinegar if you do. If you don’t like capers, you can substitute green or black olives. If you don’t care for mint, you can substitute flat-leaf parsley. If you don’t care for eggplant, well, thank you for reading along anyway! Ahem, or brush pitas or flatbreads with olive oil, grill them and dollop this salad/salsa on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium), in 3/4- to 1-inch slices
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) chopped or crumbled ricotta salata
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 3 seeded, diced medium tomatoes (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Arrange eggplant rounds in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
  2. [Alternatively, on the grill: Brush eggplant slices with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant slices until slightly charred and tender when pierced with knife, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.]
  3. Meanwhile, mix your ricotta, capers, onion, tomatoes, mint, vinegar and remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning; ricotta salata tends to be quite salty so I don’t find that this dish needs more than a pinch of salt, if that. Add more vinegar, if desired. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  4. When the eggplant discs are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salad over each round. Eat immediately.

Notes

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/09/roasted-eggplant-with-tomatoes-and-mint/

http://plant-it-forward.org/roasted-eggplant-with-ricotta-and-mint/

 

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

I like to add olives or capers too, but I think that makes this caponata. Server warm or cold on pasta or bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil·
  • 1 large eggplant (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions (1 pound total), diced large
  • 1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and diced large
  • 2 large zucchini (1 pound total), diced large
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes and juices on a rimmed baking sheet and use your hands to break tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and bake until thickened, 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a colander, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft, 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bay leaf, and marjoram to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy, 15 minutes. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Notes

http://www.marthastewart.com/332294/ratatouille

http://plant-it-forward.org/ratatouille/

 

Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ cup natural chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sambal olek or other chile paste
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 6 Asian or baby eggplant
  • ¼ cup chopped, roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, 1/3 cup water, soy sauce, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, sambal olek and garlic.
  2. Trim the ends of the eggplant. If using baby eggplant, peel them. Place in a steamer basket set over a pan of simmering water. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can wrap the eggplants individually in parchment and microwave until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.) Halve eggplants lengthwise.
  3. Transfer eggplants to a platter, cut side up. Spoon peanut sauce over eggplant. Garnish with peanuts and scallions.
http://plant-it-forward.org/steamed-eggplant-with-spicy-peanut-sauce/

 

Eggplant and Onion Salad

Eggplant and Onion Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 shallots, chopped finely
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 lb. bag eggplant, eggplant cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 4 oz. block creamed coconut chopped, or buy Goya canned cream of coconut
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. /2 ½ cups arugula leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat half the oil in a wok or large skillet and cook all the onions together for 1-2 minutes, until just softened but not browned. Lift out and set aside. Cook the eggplant cubes, in batches if necessary, adding more oil as needed, until they are crisp and golden brown. Return the onions to the wok and add the curry paste, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the creamed coconut and water and cook until dissolved. Stir in most of the cilantro, the basil, and the parsley. Toss the arugula in the sweet chili sauce and serve with the eggplant and onion salad. Garnish with the remaining herbs.
  2. Recipe from: Perfect Thai Cookbook.
http://plant-it-forward.org/eggplant-and-onion-salad/

Sweet potato, okra and eggplant curry

Sweet potato, okra and eggplant curry

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 green chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb okra, sliced lengthways, then chopped into 1 in pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp. mango chutney
  • ¼ cup creamed coconut

Instructions

  1. Fry the onion in oil until soft. Add the mustard seeds, ginger and garlic. Fry for another 2 minutes, then add inthe green chili, cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, tomato purée and a little water (about 2 Tbsp.) to make a paste. Cook for another minute and then add the eggplant, fresh okra and the sweet potatoes. Add the vegetable stock and the mango chutney. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn to low and simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Salt to taste. Serve with rice.
  2. http://www.veganrecipes.org.uk/index.php?day=15&course=3
http://plant-it-forward.org/sweet-potato-okra-and-eggplant-curry/