Pot Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cumin

This is the dish that forced me to buy that Le Creuset cast iron pot I’ve been eyeing for the past couple of months. The ingredients to this dish barely add up to $10 but the cookware cost me 3,000% more than the cost of the ingredients. I have been studying for the GMAT, can you tell? I must train my brain to think like the GMAT creators…

This is a Moroccan dish that was featured in the Food & Wine travel magazine by Paula Wolfert. I realize that mushy eggplant is highly un-photogenic, but you will be pleasantly surprised (especially if you like Baba Ghanoush.) I can only imagine that cooking the eggplant over a charcoal fire would add a lovely smoky flavor but well, we can’t have everything in life, can we?

Serve with a flatbread like naan—I didn’t have any on hand so I just brushed some pita bread with butter and baked it for 5-8 minutes at 350F until it became slighty crisp.

Ingredients

    • 1 large eggplant (1 1/4 pounds)
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 cup drained, canned diced tomatoes
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
    • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • Freshly ground black pepper

      Directions

      1. Heat a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Using a fork, prick the eggplant in a few places. Add the eggplant to the casserole, cover and cook over moderately low heat, turning once, until charred on the outside and soft within, about 40 minutes.
      2. Transfer the eggplant to a colander set in the sink. Using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise slit in the eggplant; let drain for 10 minutes. Scrape the flesh into a bowl, discarding the skin and any hard seeds; mash to a puree and transfer to a large skillet.
      3. Using the side of a large knife, mash the garlic to a coarse paste with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the paste to the skillet along with the tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, cilantro, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with flatbread.

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