Eggplant Compote

1 pound (about 6 large) Japanese eggplants
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinois Mix, recipe follows
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup (1/2 large) diced red onion
1/2 cup (1/2 medium) diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1/2 medium) diced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons (1/4 small) diced green bell pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only, to make 1/4 cup
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
Chinois Mix
5 ounces ginger, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 ounces peeled garlic (about 15 large cloves)
2 green onions, stems only, minced
2 teaspoons Chinese pepper flakes

Peel and trim the eggplants. Cut in half lengthwise, and arrange on a baking tray. Spoon the sesame oil over the eggplants and season with the Chinois mix. Let marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake the eggplants until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool, dice, and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

In a wok, heat the peanut oil. Over medium-high heat, saute the onion and the red, yellow, and green bell peppers until al dente, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Add to the eggplants with the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve, at room temperature, with grilled veal, grilled lamb, or chicken.

Yield: about 2 cups

Chinois Mix
In a blender, chop the ginger and garlic. Scrape onto a board and continue to chop until fine, adding the green onions and the pepper flakes, and combining well. Transfer to a covered jar and refrigerate until needed.

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