Posts Tagged With: Eggplant

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

So I MISSED Memorial Day.  I didn’t miss it in the sense that I lost track of time and completely forgot about it – no, I missed it in the sense that I had 4.5 days from work and got totally lost in my vacation bliss.  Seriously, we spent most of the weekend outdoors and grilling out for dinner EVERY night (that was the only must in our daily agendas).  It.  Was.  Wonderful.

So, I didn’t get this to you in time for Memorial Day Weekend festivities, but its okay, because SUMMER JUST STARTED! Hip, hip hooray!  Keep those grills hot, my friends – I’ve got lots of grilling recipes for you this summer!  This one is excellent and a healthier alternative to beef burgers this summer.  The light and fresh Mediterranean flavors are awesome for summer – serve with a glass of Sauvigon Blanc and some Grilled Greek Potatoes (coming soon).

Anywhosers, I had some leftover baba ganoush and decided we needed something else to eat it with besides Naan (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Naan, but I probably shouldn’t make a meal out of it multiple days in a row).  These were awesome and the baba complimented the flavors of the burger perfectly – I mean, I did design it that way so I’m glad it worked!

So spice up your summer cookout and make you some Mediterranean Turkey Burgers…STAT!  Enjoy!

  • 1 lb. lean, ground turkey
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3.5 oz. crumbled, soft goat cheese
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ c. fresh baba ganoush
  • Naan
  • Lettuce leaves, optional

Under the broiler, roast the red pepper until charred.  When cool enough to handle, remove skins, julienne and set aside.

In a large bowl combine goat cheese with lemon juice, salt, cumin, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and garlic.  Add in ground turkey and mix well.  Divide into four even patties and allow to sit in the fridge 15 minutes before grilling over medium heat until cooked thoroughly.

To serve, spread baba ganoush on naan, top with lettuce, burger, roasted red peppers, and an additional piece of naan.  Serve immediately.

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Categories: Entrees, Greek, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baba Ganoush

Ohhhhh man, do I ever LOVE baba ganoush – like seriously!  I think I might actually like it better than hummus.  Yes, I said it – baba is better than hummus.  I mean, I will always love that garlicky chick pea dip but something about baba just makes my heart sing!  Something about the roasted eggplant flavor, creamy greek yogurt, and tahini combined with garlic and lemon juice just makes me giggle with joy – give me some solid Naan to use as transportation mechanism and I am SET!  Look out summer BBQs – you’re getting a new side dish!

This recipe is FAB-U-LOUS.  Seriously.  It tastes just like the stuff that we got at a Lebanese bakery when I was a kid – the stuff my Lebanese-craving dreams are made of.  I’ve never quite found anything that compared to my childhood memory until I tried this recipe – its just about spot on!

Now apparently traditional baba doesn’t have yogurt in it?  I didn’t know that, but I read it in the same cookbook that I got this recipe from.  Throw that thought out the window because this dip wouldn’t be quite the same without it.

Take a break and try your hand at Baba Ganoush – you might not like hummus as much as you think!

  • 2 eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs. total)
  • 3 TBS tahini
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 3/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped flat leaf parsley (Which I forgot in the picture above.  Whoops!)

Prick the eggplants in a few places with a knife or fork to prevent them from exploding.  Place them on a rimmed baking sheet under the broiler for 35-45 minutes or until the skins are wrinkled and the eggplant are very soft.

When cool enough to handle, peel the eggplants and place them in a fine colander or strainer.  Press out as much of the liquids as possible.  Still in the colander, chop the flesh with a pointed knife, then mash with a fork or wooden spoon, letting the liquids escape through the holes.  Add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice to keep the puree looking pale and appetizing.

In a bowl, beat the tahini with the lemon juice (the tahini stiffens at first then softens), then beat in the yogurt.  Add in the mashed eggplants, garlic to taste, and some salt.  Beat vigorously and taste to adjust the flavoring.

Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with parsley.

Recipe Courtesy of Arabesque by Claudia Roden

Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Middle Eastern, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

Oh gosh, Branden’s aunt gave him one of the most incredible cookbooks for Christmas, called Plenty.  If you’re a vegetarian, this book is a must to liven up your life.  Even if you’re not a vegetarian but appreciate vegetables, you should probably consider this book, too (we also made these sweet potatoes out of the book).  Seriously, if nothing else, the pictures are to die for.

This particular recipe jumped out at us right away…because it was on the cover!  It just looked SO good!!  And it was; we were not disappointed at all!

We served this as a side to grilled lamb chops and garlic bread that I rubbed with garlic and dusted with Za’atar before toasting.

Enjoy!

  • 2 large, long eggplants
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tsp. za’atar

Buttermilk Sauce

  • 9 TBS buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400º.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise.  Use a small, sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin.  Repeat at a 45 degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.

Place the eggplant halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.  rush them with olive oil – keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh.  Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft, flavorful, and nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.

While the eggplants are in the oven, cut the pomegranate into two horizontally.  Hold one half over a bowl, with the cut side against your palm, and use the back of a wooden spoon or a rolling pin to gently knock on the pomegranate skin.  Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into the bowl.  Once all are there, sift through the seeds to remove any bits of white skin or membrane.

To make the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients.  Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.

To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves.  Sprinkle with za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top garnish with lemon thyme.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Categories: Middle Eastern, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Eggplant Parmesan

Oh hey there healthy Eggplant Parm!  Its so nice to finally meet you!!

I LOVE eggplant parmesan but HATE the calories that so often come with it.  I can’t resist the breading, spicy sauce, and gooey cheeses though…and then let’s throw it over pasta because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love carbs!  I also love it in sandwich form, served on a toasted garlic roll, but that’s a whole other situation.  Mmmmm!

This eggplant parm is FAB-U-LOUS and has about half the calories as the normal version because the eggplant is baked, not fried.  Honestly, once it was smothered in sauce and cheese, you really couldn’t tell the difference.

A word for the wise…normally I would use my family’s secret recipe for sauce, but seeing as its a day long process and I’m down to my last 1/2 quart, I opted for a jarred sauce from the store.  Make sure to pick a good one.  I used this one since it had wine and a little heat in it.  Perfecto!

Enjoy!

Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS water
  • 2 c. whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 c/ (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 c. torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 c. (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 375°

To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).

To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Adapted slightly from Cooking Light

Categories: Entrees, Italian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Another Risotto Recipe: Barley Risotto with Eggplant & Tomatoes

For some reason I’ve been drawn to risotto entrees lately.  I don’t know if its the creamy texture, the simplicity of a gourmet dinner in one pot, or the endless possibilities to be explored.  Regardless, here’s another recipe for a barley risotto.  This one was good, but I have to say, I liked the other barley risotto a little better- depends on if you’re in the mood for eggplant or not I guess (but don’t get me wrong, this dish was delicious, too).

Enjoy!

  • 6 c. diced eggplant (1/2″ cubes)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 5 c. chicken stock
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 c. uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. (2 oz.) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine eggplant, tomatoes, 2 TBS oil, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a bowl; toss to coat.  Arrange mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to collapse and eggplant is tender.
  3. Combine broth and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil).  Keep warm over low heat.
  4. Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium-heat heat.  Add onion to pan; saute 4 minutes or until onion begins to brown.  Stir in barley and garlic; cook 1 minute.  Add wine; cook 1 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly.  Add 1 cup broth mixture to pan; bring to boil, stirring frequently.  Cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add remaining broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 40 minutes total).  Gently stir in eggplant mixture, remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper, and salt.  Top with cheese, basil, and nuts.

Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2009

Categories: Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Eggplant & Goat Cheese Sandwiches

I had some extra eggplant in my fridge because I’m not always good at visualizing how much a cup is in the grocery store.  I needed 6 cups for a recipe I’m sharing soon and ending up with enough to feed a small militia.  Whoopsie…  So I started looking for ideas on what to do with some of my eggplant (and I still have some leftover!) when this little masterpiece came to me.

This was a totally simple and healthy dinner that capitalized on fresh produce.  I loved the flavors of roasted veggies, basil pesto, creamy goat cheese, and peppery arugula.  If you’re weary about eggplant, this may be a good recipe to start with because you can easily control the texture since its cooked independently of everything else technically.  Make sure to roast it until its really tender otherwise its going to have a funky, spongy texture that might not appeal to you.

Enjoy!

  • 8 half inch thick slices of eggplant
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 (1 -ounce) slices ciabatta bread (make ’em thicker for sure if you’re not watching calories!  I love bread, but am trying to limit how much I take in each day)
  • 2 TBS basil pesto, homemade or store bought
  • 1 c. baby arugula
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. (2 oz.) soft goat cheese
  • Red onion slices, optional
  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on a baking sheet.  Brush both sides of eggplant with 1 tsp. oil.
  3. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane.  Arrange bell pepper halves, skin side up on baking sheet with eggplant; flatten with hand.  Broil 4 minutes; turn eggplant over (do not turn pepper over).  Broil an additional 4 minutes; remove eggplant from pan.  Broil pepper an additional 7 minutes or until blackened.  Place pepper in a zip-lock bag; seal.  Let stand for 15 minutes; peel and discard skin.
  4. Broil bread slices for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.  Spread 1 TBS pesto on each of two bread slices.  Layer each bread slice, pesto side up, with two slices of eggplant, 1 roasted red pepper, and 2 more eggplant slices and red onion slices if desired.  Toss arugula with remaining 1 tsp oil  and black pepper; divide arugula mixture evenly between sandwiches.  Spread 2 TBS goat cheese over each of 2 remaining slices of bread and place on sandwiches.

Cooking Light, October 2009

Categories: American, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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