Tag Archives: Eggplant

Eggplant Bharta

14 Oct

When I was in Hendersonville, we stopped by a new spice and tea shop on Main Street, and I picked up a packet of garam masala. So since then, I’ve been wanting to use it to make something delicious. When I got an eggplant in our CSA, I thought that was the perfect opportunity.

I did a little internet research, trying to find a recipe that was authentic but wouldn’t have too many specialty ingredients that I’d have to go out and purchase. Naturally, the result was delicious, but maybe not quite as delicious as if I had spent the time and money on those speciality ingredients.

I know it looks like mush, but it's actually really good.

I served this eggplant bharta (I believe bharta just means ‘mashed’) with jasmine rice and mini chicken tikka samosas from Trader Joe’s. The eggplant was not incredibly flavorful, but combined with the samosas and rice, it was really delicious. The BF and I are both fairly light eaters, so this recipe and a box of frozen samosas made dinner for the both of us and another lunch for me. If you’re cooking for more than two, I would definitely recommend getting two eggplants and doubling the recipe. I also recommend attempting this on a weekend since prepping and roasting the eggplant will take quite some time. But the results are worth it! Try it out!

Eggplant Bharta

Eggplant Bharta adapted from Indianfood.about.com and FineCooking.com

1 medium-sized eggplant
1 tbsps cooking oil
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2″ piece of ginger, grated
4 oz (~3/4 cup) grape tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh deeply in a diamond cross-hatch pattern by making two or three long cuts, cutting at a steep angle, and then rotating the eggplant to make another set of similar cuts. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle salt over the surface and into the cuts. Set aside, cut side up, for 30 min. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract the salty juice and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Brush each half thoroughly with olive oil. Place each half, cut side down, on the lined baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. The eggplant will collapse and the bottoms will be a deep brown caramel color. Let cool considerably before handling, at least 20 minutes. Gently turn the cut side up, and scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon. Coarsely mash and set aside.

Heat the cooking oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.) in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until shallots are nearly translucent and the garlic releases its smell. Add the ginger and cook for one minute more. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan. (Sprinkle a bite of water if necessary.) Add the eggplant and mix well. Cook for one more minute, then serve hot with rice and/or naan.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the FloorTwelve O Eight,Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating


Eggplant “Meat”balls

10 Dec

I love eggplant, and I love meatballs, so this whole thing seemed like a great idea. And it was! My friend Emily suggested it after profiling it on her blog.

I generally have found cooking with eggplant to be somewhat difficult, so I was skeptical at first. And though this was a bit more work than I generally like to commit to dinner, it was worth it. Plus, the eggplant meatballs freeze really well, so this is an excellent recipe to make over the weekend and save for a busy weeknight.

Roasting some eggplant

We had our eggplant balls over spaghetti with jar sauce. (Honestly, after the hassle of scratch-made eggplant balls, I wasn’t in the mood to make my own tomato sauce.) For snack or for lunch, these are great on their own, maybe with some marinara dipping sauce and some garlic bread. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine it would also make a fantastic sub sandwich. Hmm… I might have to try that soon.

Eggplant "Meat"balls

Don’t wait! Go pick yourself up an eggplant and get crackin’ on this recipe.

Eggplant “Meat”balls (Polpette di Melanzane) adapted from Dinner Du Jour

2 large eggplants, cut in half
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon chopped basil
a pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Rub the halved eggplants with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them on a baking tray and roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. (If you want a slightly fancier way to roast your eggplant, try this recipe.)

Scoop out the flesh of the eggplants, place in a sieve, and press gently to squeeze out the excess liquid. In a mixing bowl, mash the garlic and eggplant together, then stir in the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, egg yolks, basil and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shape the eggplant mixture into golf ball-sized ‘meatballs’. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Linking up for:

YOLO Mondays from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Monday Meet Ups from Covered in Grace
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Linky Party with Fine Craft Guild
Make Something Monday from Sarahndipities