Monday, 18 April 2011

Moosewood Mondays: Spicy Eggplant Relish

On Friday I uncovered the smoker. It had been sitting, patiently, under its shiny black cover (okay, really it is a contractor's bag, which is really a giant garbage bag, but hey - it works) out on the deck all winter long.

For the 2011 test run I made some Tasso ham from Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie (yum! more on that later this week), and while I was hamming it up, I decided to throw some veggies in there too. I am trying to increase my smoking repertoire which, by the end of last year, consisted only of chicken and ribs. Nothing wrong with chicken and ribs, but I was ready for something different.

One of the things I smoked was an eggplant. I poked it a few times with the end of a knife and tossed it in whole. It came out beautifully smoky and collapsey and got promptly stuck in the fridge until I decided what to do with it.

Then I found this spicy eggplant relish - perfect! My adaptation of the recipe is simple and delicious, and would be awesome with smoked or regular eggplants. Makes a great condiment, or even a filling for a wrap.

Spicy Eggplant Relish
adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

The Moosewood Cookbook recommends serving this with almost anything- curries, humus, felafel, or tabouli salad. I'm serving it with a cumin-scented roast chicken, salads, and aloo paratha.

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large or 2 small/med eggplants, chopped
1 tsp cumin
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
lots of cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lime

Heat up olive oil in a large pan on med/low. Add onion and soften, stirring from time to time, for a few minutes. Add in red pepper and eggplant, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Keep cooking for several minutes, stirring once in a while, until the veggies are soft and cooked through.
Remove from heat and add lime juice. Toss and adjust seasonings to taste.
Pile into a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil if you like and serve warm, cold, or room temperature.