Chinese Style Orange-Sesame Sauce

I have been playing around with this sauce recently. It is quite rich and dark in flavour – a current obsession of mine in the kitchen. Wintery flavours. This sauce is orangey with the depth of soy and a hint of sesame. It has sweet overtones. It goes well with anything deep fried – tofu, cauliflower, pakoda – or grilled items – eggplant slices for example – or roasted or stirfried veg – broccoli, cauliflower etc.

Use it as a coating sauce, dipping sauce (although it is quite thick) or spread the sauce on a plate and place ingredients on top of the sauce. I love roasted slices of eggplant and deep fried tofu on the sauce, scattered with tons of spring onions (scallions).

Today I made some deep fried cauliflower and coated them in the sauce for a delicious snack.

Similar recipes include Miso and Ginger Dressing, Orange Star Anise Sauce, and Chilli Soy Sauce.

Browse all of our Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Lentils and Eggplant with Pomegranate and Crispy Onions | Rummaniyeh

Eggplant and dark lentils are such a paring! We loved them here – this is an extraordinary dish – and we love them in this recipe. When the eggplant is cooked with the lentils it becomes very silky and simply melts into them. This is the joy of Rummaniyeh.

Pomegranates also feature strongly in Rummaniyeh. In fact, Rumman means pomegranate, so this dish’s name, Rummaniyeh, means pomegranatey. Pomegranates are cherished in Palestine – they are an integral part of Palestinian eating, and are regarded as a symbol of abundance and prosperity.  The cheap and easy recipe uses rich, sweet-tart pomegranate molasses and pomegranate kernels (when in season), for a tangy stew in which the eggplants melt into the lentils as they gently simmer. Crispy onions, fried garlic, zingy lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, hot chilli and generous amounts of olive oil are added, to create layers of flavour and transform the primary ingredients.

Today’s recipe had its genesis in the one in Falastin by Tamini. I made some adjustments to make it simpler, with more lentils, and also to get that simmered silkiness of the eggplants.

Eat warm or at room temperature with pitta or tafoon (Middle Eastern flatbread) and a chopped salad. I like a bowl of spiced yoghurt with it. You can serve Rummaniyeh at any time, but it is especially good for breakfast!

Similar recipes include Lentil Stew with Eggplants, Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, and Walnut and Pomegranate Dip.

Browse all of our recipes from Falastin, and all Eggplant dishes.

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3-Cheese Eggplant Bake

This is a gorgeous baked dish with eggplants, cream and 3 soft cheeses. It is made without eggs and the result is an addictive dish with a thick set custard-like consistency.

The recipe is an adapted version of Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Cheesecake from Plenty More. I have made it egg-free. If you want to check the original recipe have a look here.

Like all good cheesecakes, tucking into this is so effortless and soothing that it’s easy to forget yourself and just gobble up more and more. And, like a sweet cheesecake, it’s also a bit of a no-brainer that yields very impressive results.

This is a soft dish, so is best spooned from the baking dish onto serving plates. A rustic alternative would be to bake it in a casserole and spoon out portions at the table.

Serve as a starter or for lunch with a lemony salad of bitter leaves and fresh herbs.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Eggplant, Beetroot and Potato Bake, Noodles with Fried Eggplant and Walnuts, and Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Yoghurt Sauce.

Or browse our Eggplant recipes and our Ottolenghi dishes.

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Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

Kuku , sort of like a Persian omelette or frittata, comes in many forms. I love this one that I make at home without eggs. Because it doesn’t have eggs I tend to make it looser than a frittata but it can be cooked more omelette-like and I include instructions below.  It is packed with herbs, and I love the tart barberries with the crunch of the walnuts.

Kuku is traditionally served with flatbread, crunchy items like radishes, acidic pickles and feta. Today I have served it on a Cauliflower Puree as well. It is a great mezze dish.

The inspiration for this dish originally came from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. But as his is an egg-based dish, we have made significant alterations. It is delicious, though, retaining the original flavours of barberries and herbs. I like that Ottolenghi’s version is a “wet version” – it sort of justifies my take on this dish. His recipe is here.

Similar recipes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Eggplant Pahi, Smoky Eggplant with Coriander, and Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Browse all our Eggplant dishes, Iranian recipes and Ottolenghi dishes.

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Parmigiana di Melanzane con Ricotta | Eggplant Parmigiana with Ricotta

Oh the rich traditional Calabrian Eggplant Parmigiana! So very rich with fried eggplant and a mountain of cheese. But lighter and vegetarian versions exist, using ricotta for some of the cheese and instead of fried eggplant, using grilled or baked. That is what we have today.

Eggplant Parmigiana is actually a Southern Italian version of the original Northern Italian classic. Serve as a side dish or the centre piece of a meal. Crusty bread and a green salad is all that is needed.

Similar dishes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Cheesy Baked Eggplants, and Caponata Siciliana.

Browse all of our Eggplant dishes and all of our Italian recipes. Or explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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100 Vegetables: #47. Eggplant

We pretty much adore eggplant and cook it in soups, curries, salads, baked, roasted, grilled, sauteed and steamed. There are over 100 recipes in our Eggplant collection. Here, we’ve collected a few of our favourites. I hope you enjoy them, and don’t forget to check out the others.

You can browse all of our Eggplant recipes here. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Orzo and Eggplant Bake

Food in the oven always signals the arrival of Winter, no matter what the date is. Firstly I make the Rice Pudding that my Grandmothers and Mother made, baked until it forms a crusted top. This is followed by an array of baked dishes, many of them featuring pasta.

Today’s dish is a pasta one – using orzo, that rice shaped  pasta that is divine in salads too. It is a variation of an Ottolenghi recipe that I have converted to a vegetarian dish. It is quite divine! And easy to make with mostly common ingredients. If you don’t have the tamarind, leave it out. Or add a tspn dark miso.

Similar dishes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Spinach and Toasted Orzo, Baked Pasta with Mozzarella, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes, all of our Baked Pasta dishes, and all of our Pasta recipes.

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Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt

Eggplant and Yoghurt is very common, even eggplant and saffron yoghurt is not unusual. Ottolenghi has his version in his first cookbook, Ottolenghi. This book is still one of my favourites, given to me as a gift when I was spending a couple of months in London. Lucky for me I was so very close to Islington, and so Ottolenghi’s became my usual haunt. This was long before anyone in Australia had heard of him. So this book brings back many joyful memories.

As usual, I feel free to massage his recipes to suit my preferences at the time and the availability of ingredients. Today I had a deep sticky sauce that I had made sitting on the kitchen bench, so the eggplant slices got smeared in this before roasting. You don’t need to do that, though. This recipe is actually very very simple to make (Yay!) and it is perfect for evening suppers. It doesn’t seem that it has appeared in the Guardian column, so you will need to check his books if you want to check the original.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Cheesy Baked Eggplants.

Browse all of the recipes from Ottolenghi, and all of our Eggplant dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Eggplant, Potato and Tomato

I love a good brunch, right? Lazy mornings, catching up with friends, relaxed, easy, informal and chatty – untroubled, comfortable being. It’s a long meal that takes up a large chunk of the middle of the day. So very delightful with a touch of indulgence.

This is a lovely brunch dish. The sort that you can centre your brunch spread around. Everything else should come out of the fridge, cupboard or bakery: bread and real butter, home made jams, fresh coffee and full cream milk, fruit juice from the fruit in the trees in the garden, sliced fresh fruit or perhaps baked fruit, a few cheeses (including a blue with bite), overnight oats or bircher muesli, yoghurt and some buttery pastries. This, plus the weekend papers and some good gossip, is all you need to spend half a day in unadulterated bliss.

Of course, it also makes a great supper dish – I might make it on a cold Spring evening. Who doesn’t want something deep fried on a cold night?

There’s a fair bit of preparation involved in this but it is a stunning, unusual dish that you can easily get hooked on. There is also quite a bit of washing up!

This is an Ottolenghi dish of course – it takes a while to make and has 8 or 9 processes. He floats eggs on top of the fried vegetables – I use burrata, bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella. Actually the dish is somewhat similar to Mixed Vegetables with Green Chilli Oil, another dish from Ottolenghi.

This is a recipe from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that we don’t eat (e.g. eggs), and ones that are not readily available in our local area.

If you are keen to reduce the frying in this dish, bake the eggplant until cooked. There won’t be any loss of flavour. You could also bake the slices of potato.

I couldn’t make this dish look nice, but boy, the combination of potato, tahini sauce, eggplant and tomato is so. very. good.

Similar dishes include Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata, and Purslane Salad with Burrata.

Browse all of our Brunch and Breakfast dishes, and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Spicy Baked Black Chickpeas, Eggplants and Tomatoes

Black chickpeas (Kala Chana) are very common in India but not so common outside. There are two types of chickpeas – the larger light tan Kabuli chickpea, the one that is commonly used here, and the variously coloured Desi chickpea. They are green when picked early then vary through tan or beige, to speckled, dark brown and black. 75% of world production is of the smaller desi type. The larger type, also called garbanzo bean was introduced into India in the 18th century.

Desi chana are smaller and darker with a rough coat; its other names include kala chana (black chickpea) or chholaa boot. It is this variety that is hulled and split to make chana dal.

Kala Chana have a dark and earthy taste, and aren’t quite as soft and creamy as their kabuli chana counterpart. But that makes them unique and especially delicious in Wintery dishes.

Today I bake them in a spicy tomato saucy and layered with roasted eggplant and tomatoes. Served with rice, a pickle and a herby yoghurt dish, it makes a wonderful meal. There are similar dishes made with the karbuli type of chickpeas from the Middle East and beyond – Falesten has a recipe for Musaqa’a which is also worth making. This recipe is quite similar.

Similar dishes include Chana Madra, Baked Eggplant with Cheese and Tomatoes, Eggplant and Zucchini Bake with Chickpeas, and Baked Garlicky Eggplant.

Browse all of our Chickpea recipes and all of our Eggplant dishes.

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