Harissa & Turmeric Roasted Aubergine with Cashew & Sumac Crumbs

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It’s been a while since I’ve cooked with harissa so I decided to use it as the base for these roasted aubergines. For extra flavor, I added turmeric, dried oregano and celery salt. For some crunch, I made some sumac flavored crumbs with cashews and bread. A delicious and very healthy vegetarian meal!

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 small aubergines, sliced lengthwise (about 1.5cm thick)

100grs of harissa

2 teaspoons of turmeric

8 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of celery salt

For the cashew & sumac crumbs:

4 slices of crusty bread, chopped

¾ cup of chopped cashews, unsalted

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of sumac

Salt to taste

Pinch of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tablespoons of chopped chives

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix the harissa, turmeric, olive oil, dried oregano, apple cider vinegar and celery salt.

Brush both sides of the sliced eggplants with the sauce. Place the sliced aubergine in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes.

While the aubergine is roasting, start making the crumbs. Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped bread, cashews, sumac, salt and garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until the bread is toasted.

Place the bread and cashew mixture in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside.

Serve the roasted aubergine with some of the crumbs, chopped chives and edible flowers. I like to eat it with white rice. Enjoy!

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Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

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I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

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This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the dipping sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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Eggplant Bolognese (Vegetarian)

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A vegetarian version of this traditional meaty dish. It still packs a lot of flavor because the garlic and eggplants are roasted in the oven. And besides the red wine, I also added a bit of port. If you want to save time, you can also roast the garlic and eggplant the day before.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

1 head of garlic

2 eggplants (medium sized) cut into small cubes

1 red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of olive oil

500gr of tomato pure

1 shot of port

1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup of red wine

3 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of dried basil

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Extras:

350grs of dried pasta, I used Armoniche pasta

Grated Grana Padano for serving

Fresh basil for decoration

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

Trim the top off the head of the garlic to expose the top of the garlic cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and wrap it in foil.

Place the chopped eggplants in the prepared tray with the garlic. Drizzle some olive oil over the eggplant and add some salt. Roast for 1 hour. Stir the eggplant half way.

Once the garlic is roasted, press it to push out the garlic cloves. Chop them.

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the roasted garlic, eggplants, port and red wine.  Let it cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Then add the tomato puree, stock, oregano, basil, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix it and let it cook for about 20 minutes until it becomes a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaves.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Then place the drained pasta in the pan with the sauce and mix it until well combined.

Serve with some grated Grana Padano and fresh basil leaves.

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