Spanish Eggplant

Sooooo it’s been awhile. It seems as though Christmas was just yesterday, and I has only recently posted about tomatoes. Turns out, time flies–especially when one’s mother chooses to indulge one’s Indian food cravings and one then lacks motivation at the start of the new semester. Last week was a low point in my cooking world. There was Trader Joe’s tomato soup, pasta with sauteed veggies, and, my personal favorite, eating an entire grilled zucchini and some onions for dinner. Pitiful? I think yes.

BUT I’ve resolved to change that. One of my resolutions is to vary my diet this year. I often find myself using the same old seasonings out of habit, and I think my repertoire needs a revamp. The first thing I decided to tackle? Eggplant. I usually just wind up grilling or broiling eggplant, then either smothering it in some tomato sauce and sprinkling with some cheese or tossing it with some cumin and onions. While eggplant parm is lovely, you can only eat it so many times.

One of my favorite new places for lunch by the law school is Roti–a Mediterranean take on a Chipotle-style restaurant. You pick whether you want a plate or sandwich, choose your meat, and then–my favorite part–select your veggie toppings. They have a red cabbage slaw to die for and their Spanish eggplant is a must any time I go. So imagine my delight when I realized that Roti features the recipe for Spanish eggplant on its site! This dish is warm and flavorful. It’s full of delicious vegetables and it can be served warm or at room temperature. I also love how colorful it is. If you’re looking for a new take on eggplant, this is it! Happy Eating!

Spanish Eggplant
Recipe adapted from Roti. The original recipe calls for more oil, but I started with 2 tablespoons and decided to see how it went. In my case, the veggies didn’t dry out, but feel free to add more oil as needed if they start looking too dry!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¼ lbs eggplant, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (freshly diced or canned)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  • In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add in your onions and peppers and saute until they start to caramelize–5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add in your eggplant. Continue to cook until the eggplant has softened and browned–about 10 minutes. If your veggies start looking dry, drizzle with a little more olive oil.

  • While the eggplant cooks, combine the tomatoes, honey, balsamic, tomato paste, water, pepper flakes, and salt in a large measuring cup or medium sized bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Once the eggplant has softened and browned, add in your tomato mixture. Lower to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4 (main dish) to 8 (side dish)

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