Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coriander-Crusted Eggplant - A Roman Feast

Coriander Crusted Eggplant, an adaptation of an Ancient Roman recipe from The Classical Cookbook, is absolutely delicious! I made it as a special treat for an avid fan of ancient Roman history!

I tweaked the recipe (just a tiny bit :D) by replacing the fish with eggplants; Roman chefs prided themselves on surprising their patrons by presenting them with dishes made to look and taste like something they were not.    Fish this was not - but simple though the recipe was, the eggplants tasted delicious. Despite the lack of fancier fare like honey-glaced dormice and roasted peacocks, the eggplant made for a splendid meal along with Cato's Lentils and Athenian Cabbage Salad - YUM!  Barley bread and some Globi for dessert (based on recipes from Meals and Recipes from Ancient Greece, Around the Roman Table, and The Classical Cookbook) would have made it a truly memorable meal - a veritable feast for the gods!  There is always next time!

4 Servings

Ingredients:


2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sea Salt
4-6 long slender Asian OR 1 big Globe Eggplant
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + a little more for the pan
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar/Lime Juice

Method:

Choose bright and glossy eggplants for the best results; dull/wrinkled ones are either too old or not very fresh.

Toast the coriander and black pepper in a small dry pan until fragrant and lightly toasted. Cool and grind coarsely.

Mix the ground spices with turmeric and salt.

Start heating the oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare a baking pan by lightly oiling with olive oil; or line with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

Wash the vegetables and dry them. Peel them if you like - I do not.  If you have the Asian type, cut the eggplants in half; if they are the globe type cut them into thick slices.

Dredge the eggplants firmly in the spice mixture and place them on the baking pan in a single layer. Drizzle the oil evenly over the veggies.

Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes turning once (after about 20 minutes) until they are soft when tested with a fork.

Alternately, the eggplant slices may be cooked in a skillet over medium heat; when one side is  slightly roasted, turn over to cook the other side.

Remove from the oven/skillet, splash with the vinegar or lime juice and serve hot. Enjoy!!

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