Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sweet and Sour Eggplant with Feta

As one of the meatiest vegetables, eggplant is great to use in hearty dishes. A couple nights ago, I stuffed tiny baby eggplants for a fun dinner.  Use a large globe eggplant in this recipe, which features a nice combination of sweet, sour, and salty.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 3 cups (1-inch) red bell pepper pieces
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins*
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 (1-pound) eggplant
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 ounces crumbled vegan feta (such as Veg Cuisine)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the bell pepper; saute an additional 2 minutes.

2. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes, and add to the pan, along with the golden raisins, salt, crushed red pepper, and garlic; saute for 6 minutes - the eggplant should be tender.

Note: the pan will be very full when you add the eggplant, but the volume will decrease significantly as it becomes tender and releases liquid.  Just take care when stirring, especially at first.

3. Add the water, red wine vinegar, and agave; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with the parsley and feta.

Ladle over couscous to make this a main dish, or serve as a side to any entree.

*If you can find them, opt for naturally-occurring golden raisins, such as Hunza raisins, instead of those treated with sulfur dioxide.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 cup), Calories 201 

Tasting Notes:
I didn't dislike anything about this recipe - I just wanted more of just about everything. More sweet and sour for sure, which means adding both more vinegar and more agave nectar, to play up the contrast. I would also liberally add more golden raisins, which were an unexpected and great contrast to the savory eggplant. The one thing I'd use less of is red bell pepper.  I also don't see a need to add a full cup of water; you could just as easily simmer in 1/4 cup water, and then there won't be leftover liquid once you spoon this onto serving plates.


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