Purple (Eggplant) Haze

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It’s the New Year, and this is the time for resolutions.  What I have learned throughout the years is that my resolutions never really last that long since they are always too strict or too absolute.  Past resolutions included bans on all fried food, a sugar elimination diet or no more carbs…ever.  As you can imagine, I was miserable.

Since I still love good food and want to maintain a healthy diet, I have learned that moderation is key.  I can never starve myself from foods that I love.  This year’s resolution is to stay one day out of the week as vegetarian.  I am a strong believer that meat protein is a necessary part of my diet (I’m not a nutritionist of course) because my body feels better with lean protein.  However, I’ve been reading more articles on how we should eat more vegetables, so I’m giving Meatless Monday a true go.

What I learned about vegetarian food is that it can’t be a wimpy salad or a plate of tasteless steamed vegetables.  The dish I created below is one that is hearty, creamy, cheesy, bright and fresh.  Crazy, right?  By only using a few punchy ingredients, you can have a satisfying mouthful.  I love baked eggplant so I decided to simply top it with warm goat cheese, bright pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley.  Spices also go a long way to really enhance the flavor of often bland vegetables.  My secret ingredient spice I whisk in is sumac which I sprinkle on the eggplant before I roast it.  Sumac is Middle Eastern Spice that is a little tart and a little acidic with bright citrus notes to wake of vegetables.  On top of roasted eggplant, the results are delicious.  I hope you enjoy!  I would love to hear what your New Year’s Resolution is!

Key Tools Needed:

       

 

Goat Cheese Roasted Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • ½ cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 4 oz of goat cheese
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of pepper
  • ½ tsp of sumac
  • 1 tbs of chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut a diamond cross hatch pattern into each eggplant by making two or three long cuts at an angle, and then rotating the eggplant to make a similar set of similar cuts. Do not cut through the skin.
  3. Brush the olive oil onto the cut side of the eggplant.
  4. Cut side up, lay on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sumac.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Carefully crumble the goat cheese ontop of the eggplant.
  7. Roast for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully spread the melted goat cheese across the eggplant.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley and pomegranate seeds.
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