Eggplant gets a bad wrap. If you’ve had a bitter bite, I don’t blame you for not being a fan, but it can be a life changing experience when you have it prepared correctly.
I like mine drizzled with olive oil, seasoned, and oven roasted to bring out smoky and sweet flavors. Here are my three tips for a delicious eggplant dish:
- “Drain” the bitterness by sprinkling your eggplant with salt. Allow to sit while you prep other ingredients, then rinse, and pat the liquid from yoru eggplant.
- Smaller eggplants have a sweeter reputation. Look for smaller, slender ones for a sweeter flavor.
- Be sure you are buying a mature, ripe eggplant. Unmatured eggplant have a greater concentration of solanine, which is toxic and not tasty.
Now that we have that out of the way, eggplant pairs beautifully with nutty rice and creamy tahini. This vegetarian dish is perfect for a meatless meal at home and paired with chickpea makes it well balanced with vegan protein, vitamins, and minerals that you need for a healthy New Year!
Photo Credit: http://dishingupthedirt.com
Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant with Forbidden Rice & Tahini Sauce
Makes 2-4 servings
2 medium-sized eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. liquid amino acids
1 15 oz. can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup black Forbidden Rice (cook according to directions)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
2 T. olive oil
1 small bunch of parsley, minced
1 cup of organic raw Tahini Sauce
1 package of Sorrel (about 1/2 bunch)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Once eggplant is sliced in half lengthwise, sprinkle it generously with salt on both sides, and let it sit in a colander in the sink for awhile. Soon a brown liquid will form on the top – this is the bitterness. Rinse it off and pat dry and you are good to go. Use a small spoon to scoop out the center (leaving a 1/4 inch wide shell.) Save the scooped out eggplant and quickly dice it up.
Drizzle about 1 T. of olive oil onto the eggplant and place cut side down on a prepared baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 15-25 minutes (or until eggplant is evenly cooked and slightly browned on the bottom.) Check often to make sure eggplant doesn’t burn.
Cook Forbidden Rice according to directions.
While rice cooks heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, diced eggplant and chickpeas, season with salt, liquid amino acids, oregano, cardamom, turmeric, and oregano. Turn heat to low and cook string often (for about 5 more minutes). Add cooked rice to the pan and mix well to combine. Season everything with a little salt and pepper.
For tahini sauce, in blender add 1 cup of tahini, 1 T. of liquid amino acids, juice of 1 lemon, salt to taste, blend until smooth and add a dollop on top of plated egg plant.
Scoop a healthy portion of the couscous mixture into each eggplant. Drizzle with a little tahini sauce and garnish with a few tablespoons of minced parsley. Reserve leftover tahini dressing in fridge for future use.