- Savory Eggplant “Jam” with Cumin and Coriander
I know eggplants are a polarizing veggie/fruit. Nick always says they look so beautiful, but their taste doesn’t match the visual appeal. I completely disagree. I think eggplant is like tofu, if done wrong, it feels/tastes like a bland sponge, but if done right it can be a unique and robust flavor. That said, I have lots of eggplants, both dark purple and the white and light purple ones. And this site blew my mind. I’ve never seen so many eggplant recipes! Although I didn’t use this site for my most recent eggplant adventures, I plan to use it next summer when the wave of deep purple comes back.
I know in a previous post we were talking about salting or not salting eggplants and about eating them raw…Here is what I have found.
1. Do NOT eat eggplant raw. It feels awful in the mouth and tastes like a bitter, bitter sponge. Ewwwww.
2. Salting an eggplant, even if it is super-fresh, will prevent it from absorbing too much oil, if nothing else. I salted the eggplants for this recipe and I didn’t have to use much oil.
The recipes I used this time around were from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors and from Vegetarian Suppers. One of them was delicious, the other was okay. The delicious one is the title of the post, the okay one was an eggplant gratin. It was tasty because we used our home-made pasta sauce, but I was expecting more from the eggplant and it didn’t deliver. Anyway, this savory “jam” is another eggplant dish that Nick actually likes. I’m beginning to think he actually likes eggplant…
Savory Eggplant “Jam” with Cumin and Coriander from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 pound eggplant, purple or white, slender or round
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 small lemon
lemon wedges, tomato wedges, and olives, to finish
Remove wide ribbons of the eggplant skin, leaving vertical bands of skin. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds, salt generously, and set on a plate for an hour, or longer if time allows. Rinse, then squeeze the eggplant dry in a towel. (If you’re using white eggplant, peel all of it, because the skins tend to be tough.)
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the eggplant and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until well browned on both sides, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, about 1/2 cup water, the cumin, and coriander, reduce the heat, and mash the eggplant with a fork until it’s broken into a jam-like consistency. This can take 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the eggplant. Add more water as it cooks, to help break it down. You can let the excess cook off when the eggplant is finally soft. Add the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Mound in a shallow bowl and serve warm or at room temperature, plain or garnished with lemon wedges, tomato wedges, and olives. Serve with crackers or pita bread.
Nick and I actually ate this while it was warm on tortilla chips. Super tasty! I made another eggplant dish tonight and some chocolate pudding. I’ll post the pudding recipe tomorrow!