Eggplant lovers, jump to the recipe.
Eggplant haters, bear with me for a second.
I have a story that might help you see eggplants in a different light.
As a child, I was disgusted by eggplant dips or fried eggplants, and they were always there. My Moroccan family loved them, but I refused to even look at them.
But one day, when I was in 11th grade, a friend of mine offered me one of the sandwiches his mother prepared for him. When I asked him what was in the sandwich, he said “Probably hummus” and then left to go back to class. I know what hummus tastes like and that white spread wasn’t hummus. The flavor was totally new to me and strangely tasty. It was slightly smoky and sweet.
Later, when I saw my friend at recess I mentioned that the sandwich was delicious, but it wasn’t hummus. He said “Oh yes, it was baba ganoush”. “What? No way! I don’t like baba ganoush, I don’t eat eggplants.” “I guess you do now.”
The key is to continue trying, and eventually you will fall for them. Especially if you’re vegan, because they are meaty and rich.
The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Naz Deravian. I don’t know what I enjoy more, her writing or her recipes. Both are poetic and rich.
- Avocado or olive oil
- 2 medium filipino - sliced in half lengthwise – or regular eggplants*
- 1 medium onion - diced small
- 2-3 garlic cloves - sliced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon dried meat or any dry herb
- 1 handful walnuts - chopped
- Plant-based yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 400F° (200C°).
- Brush the flesh of the eggplants in olive oil and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle over them a little bit of salt and roast until the eggplants are very tender, about for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm about 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir often. Lower the heat if necessary, don’t let them brown too fast. Cook for 8 minutes then add the dried mint. Continue to cook and stir until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Set a side.
- Let the eggplant cool down then using a spoon, spoon their flesh and put into the skillet (if you used regular eggplants*, then put their meat into a colander, to drain the liquids). Mash them with the spoon a bit and mix with the onion and garlic. Taste and correct seasoning.
- Serve in a deep plate the chopped walnuts sprinkled over and a spoonful of yogurt.
- Eat with good bread or as a side.