For some reason, I don't have a lot of eggplant on my website. There's no real reason for it. I LOVE eggplant, but don't use it very often. It's a puzzle!
In any event, this is one of my absolute favorite creations in a while. I always hate saying things like that, because it kind of undermines some of the other dishes in recent history and they get sad, and then I need to console them and ... frankly my friends ... some of my dishes are just inconsolable! As unbelievably delicious as my Cauliflower au Gratin
is ... that dish can be a real grump!
Ok, I think I just digressed. Let's start over ...
Hi there! Welcome to DJFoodie.com
! What follows is an incredibly delicious side dish. It's quick to prepare and drenched in interesting and slightly exotic flavors. It cooks fast and fierce and tastes great. There are two keys to this dish.
- Cutting the vegetables so that they're all roughly ... approximately ... the same size. A nice 1/4-inch dice on everything is perfect, but if you go a little larger, that's ok. Just make sure the other veggies match!
- Cook the veggies in a hot pan, over high heat. Add them, let them sit for a moment (no touching!) and then toss them and let them sit, again. Etc. Here's a video that somewhat shows what I'm talking about. Notice how he adds things in stages, first with the veggies and later with the nuts? This recipe has 3 stages. Also, notice how he's not afraid to leave th pan alone for two minutes at a time? This allows the veggies to sustain contact with the bottom of the pan and pick up color (the surface caramelizes). Constantly moving things around just cools it all down and steams things. Find a good blend of the two techniques. Also, kudos to the Un-Gluten Guy for making a really fun little video!
It helps to salt your eggplant before continuing with this dish. When starting this recipe, peel your eggplant and dice it into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes. Then, season them with a good amount of salt. More than you're probably comfortable with (don't worry, we'll use a bit less later on)
. Place the salted eggplant in a strainer or colander over a bowl, or in the sink. Let it drain while you cut the rest of the veggies. Be aware not all eggplant are created equal. The salt will pull a lot of water from some and virtually none from others. In all cases, it does help diminish the slight bitter quality that some find in eggplant.