I have two different kinds of eggplant waiting for me in my fridge.
So, I looked through my cookbooks – vegetarian recipes, Italian recipes, eggplant recipes. and a binder with my recipes… and then decided that I’d do something different.
I have pre-cooked the two long skinny eggplants in the oven – that’s my current favorite way to peel eggplant: charring it under the broiler, and then picking the skin off in a couple long strips.
I put some beans (1/2 pink lentils, 1/2 yellow split peas) to soak in a small container. I’m thinking of making a curry with the beans, eggplant, and a bit of coconut. I still haven’t decided whether there will be dairy products or tomatoes or both – I’ll have to taste it.
And then I have medium-small “regular” eggplant. I think I’ll peel it, dice it, and then salt it and leave it to sit in a colander to leech out any bitterness. Then I’ll rise it and pat dry. That will turn into some weird (yet tasty!) jambalaya with diced chicken, eggplant, and zucchini – and maybe some collard greens. And that will get packed up directly and frozen for lunches.
And while I was reviewing the recipes I had put up here, I noticed that I missed one of my favorite eggplant recipes:
Spicy Eggplant and Tofu Stir Fry
Choose an eggplant that does not look bitter: a fresh, small, firm chinese eggplant or a firm white eggplant.
Use firm tofu. I often use the kind that comes in a plastic tub, but if it doesn’t you will need a container that is about the same size as the tofu to marinate it.
Cut the tofu into large slices no thinner than 1cm (I usually do one cut down the middle and several crosswise).
Work a crushed red pepper sauce in between every slice and then a little more over top. Let that sit overnight (or less, but I don’t usually have a couple hours to wait, so I’ll just prep stuff for the next day).
Heat up your favorite oil for stir fry. Lay the tofu slices flat in the pan (and this is the part where I confess to using a skillet to stir fry instead of a wok – if using a wok, improvise). Let them fry until they start to darken, and then flip them carefully to the other side to keep frying.
Immediately after flipping the tofu, add the eggplant, the tofu’s marinade, and a splash of some other liquid (water will do, but fruit juice or stock is better).
Once your can feel the peppers getting spicy, add a whack of creamy peanut butter.
Stir it all around – the tofu will crumble into bite-sized pieces and the peanut butter will melt and blend into the sauce.
And then it’s done.
Serve over lots and lots of rice – with more on the side because this dish is hella spicy.
I recommend having sauteed greens on the side as well – with lots of garlic.