Sunday, September 11, 2016

Harissa Eggplant

Eggplants always seduce me, particularly at Farmers' markets and even more so when they are the long eggplant Japanese variety. Often they get used up in pedestrian ways but this time my brain thought of a really fun way to eat them, baked with a Moroccan infused flavor explosion!

My harissa is based on Aziza owner's cookbook and it is not super spicy but is very flavorful. Mashed with some preserved lemon, dried mint (actually more appropriate than fresh in this case), it was perfect! Even my vegetable suspicious husband really liked it!

Harissa Eggplant
(serves 2-3)

6-8 Japanese eggplant
1/4 preserved lemon, rinse well and remove pulp and mince
2-3 teaspoons harissa, according to taste
a little olive oil (if your harissa isn't that oily)
1 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled
olive oil for baking eggplant
cilantro to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant in half just to the stem and then gently pull apart to leave stem on each piece, it's prettier! Rub about 1/2 teaspoon olive oil on each cut side and bake cut side up on a baking sheet for 15--20 minutes until pulp is tender but not too browned.

While eggplant bakes, combined harissa, preserved lemon, mint and extra olive oil to create a paste. When eggplant is tender, smear paste over tops and cook another 5-8 minutes until you can smell it. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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