Crispy Roasted Eggplant with Walnut Sauce
Have you ever had Georgian (the former Soviet Republic, not the state that was on the wrong side of the Civil War) food? If you haven’t; change that. It’s one of my favorite cuisines: lots of herbs, salty cheeses, dumplings, heavy handed spices… and they serve it all with a sweet wine.
You get two recipes for the price of none today. I wanted to make a Georgian walnut sauce, but I needed something to put it on. Eggplant natch. Instead of frying my eggplant in oil, I baked it, and kept it vegan by using a tick in culinary school to avoid the eggwash.
For the Eggplant
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds
Panko breadcrumbs (the don’t have to be panko. Use whatever you have.
Preheat oven to 400F
Brush your eggplant slices on both sides with dijon mustard.
Pour some breadcrumbs in a bowl and dredge the mustard covered eggplant until coated.
Place the eggplant on a large parchment lined baking tray and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 30 minutes. Flip the eggplant halfway through. They should be crispy. If they’re not, your oven sucks, and they need 10 more minutes.
For the Walnut Sauce
½ red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 C toasted walnuts (10 mins in the oven, or in a small pan over med)
2 T red wine vinegar
1/3 C pomegranate juice
½ t cumin
¼ t hot paprika (or cayenne, or crushed red pepper)
½ t smoked paprika
¼ t fenugreek
½ t salt
2 T date syrup (honey if you’re not vegan)
¼ C water
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend it until you have texture of a sauce. You might have to add water by the tablespoon to thin it out.
That’s it. Put it in a hipster Bell jar and cool. It should stay good for 4 or 5 days. Put it on anything and everything