The Accidental Locavore’s friend Jamilla was describing how she makes eggplant while we had lunch recently, across the street from the Union Square Greenmarket. If I wasn’t already on the verge of looking like a bag lady, I would have dashed back and grabbed some eggplants. But being the mature individual I am (stop snickering), I waited and got a beauty from Stokes Farm a couple of days later. If you’re worried about heating up an oven, do it early in the morning, or grill the eggplant. This will serve about 4 as a salad or dip.
Moroccan Inspired Eggplant Salad
- 2 medium-large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 3/4 ” slices
- 1 head garlic, unpeeled
- ½ cup olive oil for brushing the eggplant and garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon harissa (or more to taste)
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ cup flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the top 1/3 of the garlic off. Place the sliced eggplant and the garlic on a baking sheet (don’t crowd, you might need two pans). Sprinkle the garlic and both sides of the eggplant with olive oil, half the cumin and coriander, and salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for 10 more minutes until the eggplant is golden and tender.
When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop it and put it in a medium sized mixing bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl. Add the remaining cumin and coriander, paprika, harissa. Mix until everything is well combined. Taste, add salt and more harissa if necessary. Add the cilantro, parsley and lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve chilled or at room temperature and enjoy!
This was really good even though I messed up and forgot to season the eggplant with the cumin and coriander before roasting it. I added it afterwards while it was still warm and it tasted fine. Jamilla was concerned that it wasn’t going to be the same. Then I cheated and added some garlic confit to it before mixing it up (no such thing as too much garlic, right?). If you can be patient, this was even better the next day, sweet and jam-like.