Tuesday, 8 December 2009
And speaking of eggplant (we were, weren’t we?), I cannot believe that I haven’t raved about grilled eggplant. And even more, grilled eggplant with mint! I finally remembered to get the camera to take photos (even though it might have a tendency to look a bit like dog’s breakfast). Forget how it looks. It tastes fabulous.
Initially, I was going to focus on sumac for Weekend Herb Blogging. As well as improving the looks, the sumac does add a lovely tartness. But really, it’s the mint that really makes this dish what it is.
You’ve got to try it! It’s fantastic.
We often thinly slice eggplant lengthwise, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle on a bit of turmeric and grill it on the barbecue. But for this eggplant dish, I sliced the eggplant into thin coins and oven-roasted them. Toaster oven, that is.
Oh, by the way, don’t even think about leaving the kitchen while the eggplant is cooking. It wants to burn. It waits until you get tired of watching it and sniggers as you set the timer for 5 minutes and leave the kitchen. (No photographic evidence of the pitch black discs – I couldn’t bear to get the camera out, not to mention that I wouldn’t have been able to focus properly through my tears of rage.)
If you do plan to leave the kitchen while the eggplant is cooking, make sure that you have bought twice the number of eggplants you’ll need so that you can quickly start all over again.
(Happily, we did have an extra eggplant in the fridge and it takes no time at all to cook the discs.)
The sauce is pretty simple – just plain yoghurt (make your own!) with olive oil, nutmeg, pepper, sumac, mint and lemon juice. Except for this occasion, we didn’t have any lemons. So I substituted with cider vinegar. And then added just the tiniest splash of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil we had in the cupboard. And that added just the right amount of lemon flavour.
I know I’ve already said this. But, really, this dish is fantastic! If you’re serving it with falafel, make extra dressing. The mint is brilliant with falafel.
Grilled Eggplant with Mint
based on cookitsimply.com: Grilled Eggplant with Mint
Nope, no measurements. Use your discretion; go easy with the nutmeg, but don’t stint on the mint.
- olive oil
- Asian eggplant
- grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- fresh mint leaves
- splash olive oil
- splash cider vinegar (use fresh lemon juice instead, if you have it)
- splash Meyer lemon flavoured olive oil
- plain yoghurt
- sumac, to garnish
- Pour a little olive oil into a saucer.
- Slice the eggplants into ¼ inch discs. (The beauty of Asian eggplants is not having to remove the skin.) Lay the slices in the olive oil to cover on both sides and then arrange in a single layer on a rack placed on a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the discs are beginning to turn golden. Turn them over half way through cooking, if you want. Watch them!! They might seem like they’re never going to get done. But if you leave the kitchen, they’ll know and they’ll burn.
- dressing: Chiffonade the mint leaves. Grate nutmeg into a small bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, mint, olive oil and vinegar (use fresh lemon juice if you have it). Add yoghurt and mix well.
- Place the eggplants in a serving dish. Pour the dressing overtop and stir gently to cover. Sprinkle with sumac and/or lemon zest. Add a mint leave or two for decoration.
Serve warm or at room temperature. This is particular good with falafel or grilled meat (rub the meat with Sumac) and Persian Rice.
I cannot believe how warm it has been! We have had a couple of light frosts but the hardy herbs like sage, mint and chives were still going strong until just a couple of days ago. Well, at least one of the mint plants is.
This summer was somewhat calamitous for us. We absolutely adore mint and encourage it to rampage all over the garden. We had (notice the past tense?) ginger mint, peppermint and regular old garden mint in several spots.
Around August or so, I noticed one of the clumps of ginger mint looking a little scraggy. Losing its leaves. A few weeks later, another clump of ginger mint started looking the same way and the regular mint close by followed along. The first clump of ginger mint was gone. Entirely disappeared.
By September all the mint – except one small plant that was planted two years ago (as opposed to the others that had been planted about 20 years ago) – were gone. Eaten by creature(s)? Hit by disease?
Happily, the one small plant continues to thrive and that is what I used to make the eggplant dish the other day. Amazing. (By mid-November last year, we had already had a dumping of snow.)
Please read more about mint:
- Previous WHB posts featuring mint:
* mint pesto (WHB#28)
* Too much mint? Impossible! (Mint/Coriander Chutney; WHB#34)
* ISO mishti doi (SiR III)(srikund; WHB#37)
* Herbed Radish Butter (WHB#192)
- Richters – Success With Mints
- Gernot Katzer’s Spice pages – mint
- Plants for a Future – mint
:: Mentha arvensis (Field Mint, Wild Mint or Corn Mint)
This week’s WHB host is Laurie (Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska). How fitting is that? This eggplant dish strikes me as being particularly Mediterranean….
The deadline for entering WHB#213 is Sunday 13 December 2009 at 15:00, Utah time (GMT-7). For complete details on how to participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, please see the following:
BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine Cookbook
100% of the proceeds for the BloggerAid – Changing the Face of Famine Cookbook go towards “School Meals”, a part of the UN’s World Food Program.
It’s been a bit quiet here because I was in the process of putting together my annual Advent calendar. But I’m happy to report that it’s finished now!! Please take a look (but don’t even THINK about peeking ahead).
edit 16 December: Laurie has posted the WHB#213 roundup. Take a peek at all the delicious looking entries: