Sweet, spicy, salty and sour this dish is saucy and comforting. The eggplant is sautéed until cooked through but still has good texture, the sauce is reduced and the eggplant is added to the sauce to soak up all the delicious goodness. The perfect meal during this time of transition, when heat loving eggplants and tomatoes are slowing down their production and I’m not quit ready to dive head first into fall ingredients.
Eggplants you either love them or you hate them…. and I can’t get enough! I roast them, grill them, marinate them, puree them and freeze them. I look forward to the time of year when the weather warms and the days grow long, knowing that these oddly shaped vegetables will appear on market stands. Now that it’s officially fall, I start craving warm comforting dishes, but I don’t want to let go of summer produce. A recent burst of late summer heat has been favourable for local farmers, and also for me as my weekly trip to the farmers market meant I still come home with eggplants!
On the home front… I had 16 yards of garden soil delivered to our house last week. It was an E N T I R E dump truck full, which backed into our driveway and left a pile of black gold as tall as me! This was an exciting event, and I have already started preparing garden beds. Some seeds have been sown, and little sprouts are already popping up with the promise of soon to be radishes and winter greens. I have moved wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of soil to different areas of the yard, yet it feels like I have hardly made a dent in the giant pile of soil.
With regards to indoor home renovations we have come to a bit of a stand still . A structural beam needs to be replaced and every contractor we’ve contacted is booked for over a year, has not responded, or has come and said they would write up an estimate only to never get back to us. It’s unbelievably frustrating when things are beyond your control. We can’t move forward with other renovations until this step is completed… which means no kitchen for the foreseeable future. Hopefully we can find someone who is qualified and willing to take on this project soon!
In the meantime I’ll be stuffing my face with a bowl of this saucy eggplant dish while hiding under a blanket on the couch.
- 1 Onion, diced
- 4-5 medium Japanese Eggplants (about 1.5 lbs), cut into 1/2″ cubes (any eggplants will work, these were the ones I found at my local market)
- 2-4 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2″ piece Ginger, minced
- 3 Tbsp. Maple syrup (optional – I often leave this out, add if you like a sweeter sauce)
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha
- 3 Tbsp. Blackstrap molasses (unsulphured)
- 3 Tbsp. Tamari (gluten free if desired) or Soy sauce
- 1 cup puréed Tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 3 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 bunch Scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Cooked rice, for serving
Start by stirring the sauce together: in a medium bowl whisk together maple syrup (optional), sriracha, molasses, tamari, puréed tomatoes, rice vinegar and water.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside in a large bowl.
Add half of your cubed eggplant to the pot with another 2 teaspoons of oil. Stir to coat and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Place eggplant in bowl with onions and repeat process with remaining cubed eggplant.
Add another 2 teaspoons of oil to the pot along with minced garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sauce and let simmer over medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add eggplant and onions to sauce and cook 5 minutes.
Serve with rice, top with scallions and sesame seeds.