Jerusalem Eggplant

Yotam Ottolenghi is apparently hitting a huge streak of popularity right now – especially his cookbook, Jerusalem (which I own and highly recommend). Yesterday, I hinted at some incredible eggplant. Here it is.

If you made the Hungry Tigress Preserved Lemon recipe I posted, or if you happen to have a jar sitting around for no reason whatsoever, here is a great thing to do with them. Also, if you have two eggplants hanging out in your refrigerator, kind of wondering if they’ll ever have the chance to be eaten, here’s the perfect thing to do with them. Win. Win.

CHERMOULA EGGPLANT

Serves 4 as a main course

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chile flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon peel
approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium eggplants

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To make the chermoula, mix together in a small bowl the garlic, cumin, coriander, chile, paprika, preserved lemon, olive oil, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with deep, diagonal crisscross scores, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place on a baking sheet cut side up. Put in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the eggplants are completely soft.

PRO TIP: fill an oven-safe dish with water and put it in the oven at the same time as the eggplant. This helps the eggplant steam-cook slightly, instead of pure roasting, which keeps the flesh soft and tender. Eggplant can dry out and get kind of crusty in the oven if we’re not careful.

Enjoy with Braised Chickpeas, if you’re up for it! Yotam covers his in a lovely bulgur and yogurt, which you can also do, if you own the book. 🙂

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