Friday, January 14, 2011

Grilled Eggplant with Chilli and Garlic


I never once had eggplant growing up - as a girl from a small country town never really had the opportunity. I'm sure my mother never had it growing up, so she would never have cooked with it at home. In fact, I'm not even sure our supermarket had such a vegetable. We were a strictly meat-and-three-veg town, by gum, and the most exotic anybody got in their home kitchens was chow mein.

Oh and that tuna-boiled egg-curry powder concoction with th fancy name of "Indienne" which I'm sure nobody but my mother ever made in the history of the world. I should like to leave that memory behind (sorry mum).

So, back to eggplant. I cannot ever remember the first time I tried it, but I remember thinking it always just looked so weird. Like it couldn't possibly taste good. And didn't you have to salt it for like, half an hour before you even used it? Hm.

Well, try it I must have, because I'm hooked. And I cook a whole eggplant and eat it all by myself like it ain't no thang. I've baked it in coconut milk, palm sugar, lime juice and chili, I've made eggplant parmigiana (which is hilarious as I've never enjoyed parmigiana in any other capacity before), I've oven-roasted it, I've made crumbed versions... but the easiest and the quickest is always just to fry it with some garlic and drizzle it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And sometimes, that's all I want.

Ingredients:
olive oil
1 whole eggplant, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
Balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for half an hour then rinse and pat dry. Sometimes I don't even bother...

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Even better if you have a barbecue. Add the eggplant and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to brown.

3. Add a slug more olive oil, the garlic and the sambal oelek. Cook until eggplant is soft and browned, about 8 minutes.

4. Remove to a bowl, drizzle with balsamic, sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper to taste and toss.

5. Put on a plate. Add a little extra balsamic. And olive oil. And more balsamic. Not obsessed at all.....

12 comments:

  1. ohh, this looks so good! thanks so much for these recipes!!

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  2. Oh yummy. I'm also a fan of eggplant/aubergines. We never had it as kids either. I love a roasted vegie salad with eggplant in it. They say you don't need to salt it anymore, but I also do it anyway ...I find it makes the eggplant that much sweeter and tender. Thanks for sharing, I could spend hours salivating over your recipes.

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  3. Oh, I have a huge eggplant obsession. Love it. Definitely will try this receipe. x

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  4. That looks absolutely scrumptious with a delectable sauce on it! And we didn't have much eggplant growing up either-I'm not sure why! :)

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  5. Eggplant = deliciousness. I'm glad you all agree!

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  6. Eggplant or aubergine as I know it was a vegetable that I would avoid. I have recently found ways that I appreciate both the texture and flavour. I have to say this is one of them. Splendid.

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  7. That's great to hear! I've heard texture can be an issue, but I've not really had that problem... especially when it's crumbed and baked in the oven so the outside gets crisp and crunchy. Oh my.

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  8. That's great to hear! I've heard texture can be an issue, but I've not really had that problem... especially when it's crumbed and baked in the oven so the outside gets crisp and crunchy. Oh my.

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  9. Eggplant = deliciousness. I'm glad you all agree!

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  10. Oh, I have a huge eggplant obsession. Love it. Definitely will try this receipe. x

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  11. Oh yummy. I'm also a fan of eggplant/aubergines. We never had it as kids either. I love a roasted vegie salad with eggplant in it. They say you don't need to salt it anymore, but I also do it anyway ...I find it makes the eggplant that much sweeter and tender. Thanks for sharing, I could spend hours salivating over your recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ohh, this looks so good! thanks so much for these recipes!!

    ReplyDelete

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