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Archive for the ‘Eggplant’ Category

Kharcho Bites

 

 

It occured to me that in the midst of the holiday party season, people would be clamoring for new, unusual and easy to make  appetizer variations.  This nosh is basically a potato skin with an eastern european flavor thrown into the mix that will undoubtedly delight the taste buds of your holiday guests.  Kharcho has become one of my favorite spice blends and I’m sure it shall become one of yours as well. 

 

Kharcho –Spiced Eggplant and Pear Stuffing

I stuffed small new potatoes with this filling, but you could just as easily use zucchini or a pastry cup as a vessel.  If you want to use the potatoes, select smaller, bite-sized potatoes and after washing, poke once with a knife.  Steam for ~20 minutes until softened and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, cut in half and use a small spoon or paring knife to cut a well in each half.  Lightly mist with olive oil and pan-sear until the cut side is golden.  Stuff with ~one teaspoon of filling and place on a platter.

[Yields ~3 cups]

Ingredients:

2 cups eggplant, small dice

1 medium onion, small dice

1 pear, small dice

½ cup frozen petite peas, thawed

¼ cup pistachios, chopped

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

12 dried apricot halves, small dice

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp Kharcho

¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil

Directions:

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, garlic, eggplant, pear and apricot halves until softened.  Add the peas, pistachios, Kharcho, red pepper flakes and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper. 

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We were in Trader Joe’s recently and picked up some whole wheat lavash.  It’s a bit thicker than a tortilla and far thinner than the traditional pizza crust Americans are used to piling toppings upon.  If you’re in a hurry, or want a lighter style pizza, this is the way to go.

 

Eggplant,  Zucchini and Kale Pizza with a Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:

one eggplant, peeled and cut into a medium dice

2 zucchini, medium dice

1 bunch kale, washed and cut into ribbons

1/3 cup dried apricots, cut into slices

1/2 onion, diced

1 head garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

fresh oregano

For the Sundried Tomato and Cashew Cheese:

1 block extra firm silken tofu

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice [about a tablespoon’s worth]

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. 

Lightly spray eggplant with olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread upon a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Cut the top off the entire head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and place in the oven.  Bake the eggplant and garlic for 45 minutes, tossing the eggplant halfway through.

While the eggplant and garlic are in the oven, sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil until softened.  Add the zucchini and sauté until the edges are caramelized.  Transfer to a bowl.  Place the pan back on the stove and, once heated, add another drizzle of olive oil and add the kale.  Toss until coated then add a cup of water and the dried apricots.  Turn down to a simmer and cook until the greens have wilted and the apricots are rehydrated.  Drain, if necessary, and set aside.

To make the cheese:  Add tofu, cashews, sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oregano to a food processor. Pulse until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the eggplant and garlic have roasted, remove and add the eggplant to the sautéed onions and zucchini.  Place a lavash bread upon a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 4-5 minutes to crisp up a bit.  [You do not want the lavash to get gooey when you add the toppings.]  Spread the cheese onto the lavash using a spatula.  Top with the cooked vegetables and cloves of roasted garlic.  Bake for a few minutes until warmed.  Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and fresh oregano.

 

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