Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chermoula Roasted Eggplant with Coconut Cilantro Cream

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can get a bad rap. Too many people have had it in mediocre dishes or think that the only way to eat it is parmesaned (delicious!) or in baba ghoush (scrumptious!)

But my friends, eggplant is so much more than those two standards. Inspired by Jotam Ottolenghi, my roasted eggplant included the chermoula plus some smoked paprika and an original creation of coconut cilantro cream sauce which is divine!

If you don't have preserved lemons you can substitute the zest of 2 lemons and 1 teaspoon of juice. But it's winter and citrus time, so make yourself some preserved lemons! They keep in the frig for a very long time!

Chermoula Roasted Eggplant with Coconut Cilantro Cream (inspired by Ottolinghi)
(serves 2)

1 medium globe eggplant
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 quarter preserved lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Coconut Cilantro Cream
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems and leaves
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons coconut milk
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse preserved lemon in warm water and scrape out inner pulp and mince. Combine garlic, preserved lemon, cumin, coriander, cayenne, paprika salt and oil to cream a marinade. Allow flavor to marry for at least 15 minutes.

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and cut flesh in a crosshatch pattern about 1/2 inch separating each cut (like a tic tac toe board) and taking care not to cut through the skin. Spoon marinade on top of eggplant and press into the flesh. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until flesh is soft. Meanwhile combine cream sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until sauce is well blended. Drizzle sauce over top of hot eggplant and serve.


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