Spicy Egyptian Eggplant with Fresh Herbs

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Post Thu, Dec 16 2021, 10:16 am
This was quite good with a simple and easy to make. I made the "dressing" in advance and then I just needed to cube the eggplant and broil.

This can be served at room temperature so the whole dish can be made in advance

Spicy Egyptian Eggplant with Fresh Herbs

Excerpt From: Christopher Kimball. “Milk Street Vegetables


The inspiration for this recipe was btingan mekhalel, a spicy, vinegary deep-fried eggplant dish sold by street vendors in Cairo. We made a lighter, easier oven-friendly version of the dish. But because broilers vary in heat output, check the eggplant for doneness after 10 minutes. For the same reason, it also may need longer than called for. The pieces should be tender and lightly charred, but not falling apart. Harissa is a North African red pepper paste seasoned with spices and other ingredients; our favorite brand is DEA, which usually is sold in a yellow tube. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Two 1-pound globe or Italian eggplants, trimmed
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup harissa paste
¼ cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1. In a small skillet over medium, toast the coriander and cumin, shaking the pan, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool slightly, then pulse until coarsely ground; set aside.

2. Heat the oven to broil with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Line a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Cut each eggplant crosswise into 1½-inch-thick rounds, then cut each round into 1½-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with the oil to coat. Distribute in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet; reserve the bowl. Broil without stirring until tender and lightly charred on top, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in the reserved bowl, whisk together the harissa, vinegar, honey, garlic, mint, 2 tablespoons of dill and the coriander and cumin. When the eggplant is done, immediately add it to the bowl, then gently toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon dill.

Don’t allow the eggplant to cool before tossing it with the harissa mixture. As they cool, the chunks absorb the flavorings. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
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