Friday, August 13, 2010

Afghan Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce

This is my favorite eggplant dish. I couldn’t wait to make it with an eggplant from my CSA. Wasn’t disappointed.

Thursday Menu – Moroccan Grilled Salmon, Afghan Eggplant, Corn on the Cob
Farm Share Produce – Eggplant, Italia Sweet Pepper, Jalapeno, Corn on the Cob
Other Local Produce - Garlic

Afghan Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce
Slightly adapted from

1 large globe eggplant
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing on eggplant
1 teaspoon butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly (I used Italia Sweet from CSA)
½ jalapeno, seeded and sliced thinly (or pinch of red pepper flakes)
1 (14 -15 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic, to taste
salt, to taste

Slice the eggplant into ½ inch thick slices. Lay on an oiled roasting pan and brush with the side facing up with more oil. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes, just until they start to turn tender. Let the eggplant cool and reserve.

Meanwhile, in a skillet heat the oil and butter on medium-low heat. Sauté the onion and peppers until slightly caramelized. If using a jalapeno cook those with the pepper and onion. If using red pepper flakes add those when the peppers and onions are slightly caramelized. Remove the onion mixture from the skillet and reserve.

You are going to make stacks with the eggplant and onion. With the heat off in the skillet put down 3 – 4 of your eggplant slices. Put a spoonful of onion mixture on each, layer another eggplant slice and spoonful of onion mixture on each until you have used all your eggplant slices. End with an eggplant slice on top. Pour the chopped tomatoes with their juices around the stacks.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove cover and simmer another 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.

While the eggplant simmers combine the yogurt and the garlic. Salt the mixture to taste. Save in the refrigerator.

When the eggplant is done carefully transfer the stacks and some of the tomato mixture to a plate. Serve with a dollop of the yogurt sauce.

NOTE: The original recipe calls for frying the eggplant. I choose to roast it in the oven because it is less time consuming and the eggplant soaks up less oil. My friend has fried the eggplant and says it makes it just a tiny bit better, but not so much better it’s worth the time to fry the eggplant in batches. I’m also really bad about salting eggplant to pull out the water. I don’t find it makes much difference. The original recipe calls for this process.

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