Sunday, February 5, 2012

Slow-cooked Eggplant and Olive Stew

This is my second favourite way to cook eggplant.


As an aside, I'll tell you about my #1 favourite eggplant dish. That was a tagine at a little Morroccan restaurant in Lisbon, that you had to skirt past laneway diners and up steep staircases and around dim corners to get to. I have to confess, Robbie and I visited 3 of the 4 nights we romanced that splendid city.

Every night, I ate eggplant tagine.

Some of you out there will be chastising me - how could I limit myself to one dish at one restaurant in such a magnificently exotic place as Lisbon?

The rest of you get it. I could've eaten that dish every single day till I developed an allergy to it. It was my food soul-mate equivalent. To this day, I haven't found a recipe that does my memory justice.

But it's a memory. Does it need justice?


Anyway, #2 isn't a tagine recipe, though it's loosely mediterranean and founded on eggplant. It's simple yet tastes amazing with pasta, rice, couscous or on its own.

Oh, and red wine. Always good with red wine.

So. Have you met your food soul-mate? Please dish ...
and enjoy.
Amanda xx

***********
Slow-cooked Eggplant and Olive Stew
serves 6-8

The time
15 min prep + 45 min cooking

The ingredients
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbs butter
8 cups chopped eggplant
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs red wine vinegar, plus 1 Tbs extra to taste
700 mL jar of passata (tomato puree)
300 mL water
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp sea salt (smoked, if possible), plus extra to taste

crumbled organic feta cheese, to serve (optional)
fresh organic oregano, to serve (optional)

*As always, try to use organic ingredients when you can - particularly for animal products like cheese and herby greens.


The process
1. In a large pot, saute the onion in the butter over med-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir it through; cover and reduce the heat. Cook together for ~15 minutes.

2. Add the olives, garlic, vinegar, passata, water and seasonings. Stir through and bring back to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 45-60 minutes. Prepare whatever you're going to have this with.

3. Adjust the seasoning and tartness with salt and vinegar; serve with rice or pasta and with crumbled feta cheese and fresh oregano (if you have it) on top.

The cost
My batch of organic stew cost me about $1.50-$2 per serving, depending on local market prices, and not including the rice.

9 comments:

Paula said... [Reply to comment]

This certainly looks like a healthy and hearty stew. Big confession...I've never eaten eggplant!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Nooooo! Seriously, Paula? This is your year :)

Linda @ stuff i like said... [Reply to comment]

I totally get why you'd order the same thing. It sounds delicious. One question about your second favourite. Do you need to do that salty, sweaty thing with the eggplant first? I know, I know, my knowledge of foodie jargon is pretty amazing...

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

You know me. I don't do extra steps unless absolutely necessary ... and in this case? I don't think sweating it is necessary. Salting/sweating removes the extra moisture and (apparently) bitterness from the eggplant ... but in this stew, juiciness isn't a problem, and to be honest? I've never been 100% sold on the sweat-to-reduce-bitterness thing. Sometimes I get eggplants that are more bitter than others.

Hope that helps? :)

Accidental Lentil... said... [Reply to comment]

oh i LOVE eggplant but I've never cooked it like this! I love love olives too so i don't see how i can lose. Just gotta wait for the temps to go down before i can bear being near the stove.

Randi Lynne said... [Reply to comment]

This is the healthiest, best tasting way I've had eggplant. The only modification I made was I added a few mushrooms and some red pepper flakes to it. It is good alone with feta sprinkled on top, but my husband and I ate it with some leftover pork butt and potatoes added in.

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Great, I just picked 3 eggplants today. I have all the other ingredients except for garlic so once I get that I think I'll be making this dish later this week. I like the idea from Randi Lynne to add some mushrooms as well.

JulesTheNorweegie said... [Reply to comment]

Finally got around to making this last week! I only used one aubergine, but kept most of the quantities for the other ingredients. Had to add a bit of smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce to it, but that made it really tasty!

http://julesthenorweegie.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/slow-cooked-aubergine-olive-stew.html

I hope you are having a great week so far! x J

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

@JulesTheNorweegie Yum! Smoked paprika sounds excellent ;). I'm having a great week, thank you ... just about to head on HOLIDAYS!! Weee!!! Hope you're having a great week, too xx

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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