2 pounds slender Eggplant
2 Cups Red Wine Vinegar
1 Cup Water
1 teaspoon chopped Garlic
1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
1 Tablespoon Salt + 2 teaspoons extra
¼ Cup Sugar
Slice Eggplant into quarters and trim to fit into canning jars. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons Salt over the slices and place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes or so. In a small dry pan toast Cumin Seeds until fragrant, about a minute over medium heat. When ready, bring remaining ingredients to a boil, tip in Cumin and add Eggplant slices for one minute. Let cool in the pot before placing slices snugly into 2 x pint size canning jars. Secure the lid and place in a refrigerator for at least 24 hours before consuming. Use as a condiment with Curries and cheese platters!
CHAWANMUSHI (Savory Tomato Custard)
2 pounds heirloom Tomatoes, 1 red, 1 green & 1 yellow if possible
1 ½ Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
½ teaspoon Salt (if needed)
2 teaspoons minced Ginger
2 teaspoons chopped Garlic
1 Tablespoon Blended Oil
Peel, seed and chop Tomatoes and then place in a strainer to drain thoroughly for about 20 minutes. PanSpray 6 x ½ pint canning jars and place in a deep baking dish. Cook Ginger & Garlic in Oil over moderate heat until fragrant, and then add the chopped Tomatoes. After a couple minutes, use a slotted spoon to evenly distribute Tomato mixture into jars, leaving as much liquid behind as possible. Break Eggs into a large measuring jug and use a fork to blend together briefly. Add Stock to Eggs and combine with Salt (if Chicken Stock needs a boost). Pour Egg mixture into jars evenly and wipe the rims of any spillage. Pour water into the baking dish so that it rises at least halfway up the sides of jars. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes. The top will be set, but the interior will be like a rich soup! Garnish with sliced Scallions and Soy Sauce and serve as part of a meal, or as an appetizer or soup course.
SMOKEY EGGPLANT DIP
2 pounds slender Eggplant, about 6 or 8
2 large roasted Shallot *see note
1 Cup heavy Cream
2 teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
Over a flame or under a broiler, char Eggplant on all sides until black & blistered. Allow to cool before peeling off the skin with your fingers, but reserve the most charred pieces for the last step!
In a medium saucepan combine Roasted Shallot, peeled Eggplant and Cream and bring to a simmer. Let cook down for about 30 minutes, stirring often until thickened. Use an immersion blender to puree, adding in Salt, Sherry Vinegar and finally about 1 or 2 Tablespoons of the charred skin- this is where the real smokiness comes from and gives the dip a deep color! Add to taste the charred skin and salt, but don’t overdo as it will intensify as it infuses. Serve with crusty bread slices or fresh Pita for dipping.
*Roasted Shallot: Remove the root end from several bulbs of fresh Shallot and place in a small roasting pan. Fill with Blended Oil so that the Shallot is submerged and cover with foil. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Use the Oil to sauté or make salad dressing.
EGGPLANT, FETA & MINT SALAD
2 medium Clara Eggplant
1 teaspoon Salt
3 small Peppers- 1 red, 1 green, 1 white or purple if possible
1 small Onion, about ½ Cup diced
3 ounces Feta Cheese
¼ Cup fresh Mint leaves, loosely packed
2 Tablespoons Vinolio Creta Honey-Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Peel and dice Eggplant into ¼ inch pieces and place in a colander with a teaspoon of Salt to drain out excess moisture for 30 minutes- this also will prevent the Eggplant from soaking up too much Oil whilst cooking. Meanwhile, cut Onion and Peppers into ¼ inch dice and sauté over medium heat with a Tablespoon of Oil until tender but not too soft- I add the Onion first and cook for a minute before adding the Peppers. Transfer into a mixing bowl. When ready, use a paper towel to dry off the Eggplant briefly. Heat another Tablespoon of Oil over medium-high heat and add the Eggplant in batches to fry on all sides for about a minute- make sure there is some nice color on the pieces but do not overcook so that it is soft! Repeat for remaining Eggplant. Slice Mint finely and combine in mixing bowl with Peppers, Onion, Eggplant and Honey-Balsamic Vinegar, then sprinkle over Feta cheese to serve.