Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce

Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce

Last week, I told you all that I bought The Food of Morocco, and have been on a Moroccan food kick. The kick continues today… with this Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce.

There are already a lot of eggplant recipes on this blog, and I know it’s not everyone’s favorite vegetable. This blog post is really more about the sauce, which you could use over fish, grilled meat, or roasted veggies (and don’t stop there). Or, eggplant.

It struck me, while I was adding all of the ingredients for this Charmoula to the blender, that it’s just like so many other herb-based sauces found around the world. It combines oil with an acid (lemon juice), garlic, salt, and pepper, and heaps of herbs. In this case, cilantro and parsley. The process reminded me of making a South American Chimichurri, or the garlicky dipping oil used in Ecuador, or even pesto.

It is not so much their similarity that surprises me, but the idea that diverse people, strung out across the world, all arrived at a similar solution to saucing food. Oil, herbs, garlic. I’m not a historian, though a quick look at the Wiki history of Chimichurri sauce suggests it was brought over by Spanish immigrants. Were all of these sauces another way of making the flavors immigrants were familiar with in a new environment, with new ingredients? Perhaps. (I, by the way, adored this essay on how immigrants assimilate through food).

Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce
Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce

The other thing that struck me about Charmoula was it’s flavor, which I found sharper and stronger than chimichurri or pesto. I would probably eat a spoonful of pesto straight. At least, I would definitely lick the spatula. And maybe I would with charmoula as well, but it’s flavor is not as sweet, or creamy — it will wake you up a bit! It’s salty and tart and herbaceous. Which is why it’s a perfect finishing sauce, the final touch on roasted eggplant that wakes it all up. A drizzle over a fillet of fish that brings everything together. The “zing.”

Pulling from Mediterranean flavors, I also added a drizzle of tahini to this eggplant. It’s richness is a good counterpart to charmoula, and the charmoula cuts through the richness of the tahini. Eggplant — we'll, I’d say it’s just the carrying vessel, but others might disagree.

Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce

Roasted Eggplant with Charmoula Sauce

Published March 12, 2019 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



Ingredients:


For the charmoula:
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Dash cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup packed parsley leaves

  • For the eggplant:
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • For serving: 1/4 cup tahini

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
    2. Slice stem from eggplant and then cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Spread out on a baking sheet (or two) in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, and allow eggplant to sit for 5-10 minutes. The salt with help reduce bitterness.
    3. Brush eggplant with olive oil. Flip eggplant and brush the second side. Place in oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until eggplant is soft all the way through, and is golden/brown on the edges.
    4. While eggplant cooks, combine all ingredients for charmoula in a food processor or blender, and pulse until a sauce forms. I like my sauce to still have some texture to it, so I stop before everything is puréed, but this is just my preference.
    5. Serve: place roasted eggplant on a plate, and drizzle with several spoonfuls of charmoula and several spoonfuls of tahini. Eat warm.
    6. Note: you will likely have leftover charmoula, which can be used as a sauce for fish, or grilled meats and vegetables.

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    Spring Sauté with New Potatoes, Peas, Leeks & Artichokes

    Spring Sauté with New Potatoes, Peas, Leeks & Artichokes

    It's May 24th, which means we are literally right on the heels of the new GDPR regulation. As a one-woman show cooking and shooting in my very own Colorado kitchen, it's hard to believe that something like GDPR -- a regulation from the EU - would impact me. But, so many of my lovely readers live in the EU, and I wanted to ensure that everything was buttoned up so that you can still come get recipes.

    So how does this even impact a little old blogger? That's a fair question. In order to know which recipes are most loved, and which are flops, I use tools like Google Analytics to see which recipes are most popular and why. I also use advertising to help keep the blog running. So, no matter where you live, you'll notice a few changes around here. First, you'll want to consent to the use of cookies and pixels (if you haven't already) for the best website experience. A little pop up should show right when you first visit Foraged Dish on a new computer, where you can give permission. Like for most bloggers (and websites!) this will help my site load faster for you, help me evaluate which types of recipes to make, and more. If you have any questions or concerns, I'm an open book. But also, please feel free to check out my privacy policy here. Also, if you subscribe to Foraged Dish via email, you can always update your settings! Just use the link in the email footer. 

    This stuff might be a bit "boring" but it's important to me that you know you can safely visit Foraged Dish. 

    Alright. Now that we have that covered, let's talk about this spring skillet. Because it's a must make for this month!!

    Spring Sauté with New Potatoes, Peas, Leeks & Artichokes
    Spring Sauté with New Potatoes, Peas, Leeks & Artichokes

    Really, any excuse to eat artichokes is valid in my book, at any time of year. In the winter and early spring, this means making do with canned or marinated artichokes. I say "making do" because the alternative is fresh, but marinated artichokes aren’t necessary lesser than their fresh counterpart. Just different.

    So while artichokes aren't ready to be harvested yet, the canned variety still feels perfect in this moment. Leeks, with a mellow onion flavor, get caramelized in the bottom of the pan until they're sweet. Young potatoes and peas add a light starchiness to this dish -- making it satisfying on soggy spring days (it has been raining here all week) or warm ones.

    Hope you enjoy! 

    Spring Sauté with New Potatoes, Peas, Leeks & Artichokes

    Spring Sauté with New Potatoes, Peas, Leeks & Artichokes

    Published May 24, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
    • 1 leek, roots and dark green pieces removed, and washed well
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 cup diced young potatoes
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen english peas
    • 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, halved or quartered, drained
    • Salt & ground black pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Heat butter/oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.
    2. Slice leek into thin rounds, and add to pan. Sauté until leeks are softened.
    3. Add minced garlic, diced potatoes, and peas to the pan, and cover. Cook, stirring every 3-4 minutes, until potatoes are softened through.
    4. Add artichoke hearts and cook for 2 minutes more, until artichokes are warmed through. Season to taste with salt & pepper and serve hot.

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    Instant Pot Coconut Rice

    Instant Pot Coconut Rice

    Soggy, strangely sweet, and topped with bland tofu, my first experience with coconut rice was terrible. It was also my first experience with tofu, and that probably didn’t help. Being seven years old didn’t really lean in my favor, either. I remember picking at my bowl and barely eating, even though the rule in our family was “you eat this now or you go hungry.” 

    I eventually learned to like tofu, but managed to steered clear of coconut rice for twenty years, traumatized by that experience. So, I’m not really sure what possessed me one day in February when I decided to make my own coconut rice. I shocked myself further when, halfway through the first bowl I thought, needs more coconut, and served myself seconds. 

    Instant Pot Coconut Rice
    Instant Pot Coconut Rice

    It turns out, I love coconut rice. That first sample was far too long ago for me to remember what was wrong with it. But, now I find myself on quite the coconut rice kick — it’s the perfect side for Thai dishes. 

    All you need is rice, water, coconut milk and a sprinkle of salt. I find that the salt is necessary because it keeps it savory rather than sweet. In other applications, maybe you would want to swing more sweet and in that case you could skip the salt.

    Of course, cooking it in an Instant Pot (affiliate link) is also key, which is the only way I cook rice because it’s fool proof and SO EASY. (I’m a home cook that tends to get distracted, or maybe just tried to juggle too many things at once. Cooking rice on the stove is a gamble: Will she burn it this time? But cooking rice in the Instant Pot is right on the mark every time, no matter how many other things I’m trying to do.)

    Instant Pot Coconut Rice goes wonderfully with this Thai Basil Beef, or any stir fry, really.

    Instant Pot Coconut Rice

    Instant Pot Coconut Rice

    Published April 24, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups jasmine rice 
    • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
    • 1 cup water
    • 1-2 pinches salt 
    • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
    • Minced cilantro or green onions for garnish

    Directions:

    1. Add rice, coconut milk, water, and salt to Instant Pot (affiliate link!) and set to Rice setting with the vent turned to the sealed position. Timer should be set for 12 minutes.
    2. When timer goes off, open vent to release pressure. Serve hot topped with minced cilantro/green onions and/or toasted coconut.

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