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Grilled, Sides, Vegetarian

Egyptian eggplant with coriander

Exchanging recipes with neighbors is friendly and fun. But as a newlywed and a novice at the stove, I quickly found out that it can also be dangerous. When I lived in Bat Yam in metropolitan Tel Aviv, my next-door ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
  • 2 eggplants (2 to 3 pounds total)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
  • 7 or 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Step 1For the favorite Mideast taste, grill the eggplants; otherwise, broil or roast them, then peel them. Chop the eggplant pulp fine with a knife.

Step 2Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the ground coriander and cumin and let the spices toast for a few seconds over low heat. Immediately add the eggplant and mix well. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to thicken and blend flavors. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve hot or cold, garnished with cilantro sprigs.

Note: A brief saute with ground coriander seeds, cumin and a generous dose of garlic gives grilled eggplant a delectable taste. I like to finish the dish with a popular herb in the Land of the Nile--cilantro. When heated briefly, this eggplant is a wonderful accompaniment for roasted or grilled lamb, chicken or turkey. Served cold or at room temperature, this versatile puree makes a tasty appetizer with pita bread. As a spread for sandwiches, it has a more vibrant flavor than butter or mayonnaise, and it's lower in fat and calories.
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