The picture of this one doesn’t look that fabulous. It’s probably because my plates don’t contrast enough with the dish…but hey, I’m a grad student– I only have room for one set of plates.
However, this is a tasty and satisfying vegan meal and pretty cheap to make. The colors are also fun– the contrast of the purple and light yellow color of the eggplant with the bright orange sauce and the earthy brown and green mushroom garnish.
Eggplant Steaks with Spicy Sundried Tomato Sauce and Balsamic Mushroom Garnish
- 1 medium or large eggplant, cut into 6 slabs, lengthwise.
- Sea salt
- Canola oil
For the sauce:
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the garnish:
- 1/4 yellow onion, cut into slices or diced
- 6-7 mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into mushroom shaped slices
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- black pepper to taste
Cut the eggplant and sprinkle each side with salt. Set aside.
Start the sauce: put the carrot and sundried tomatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them. Simmer until the sundried tomatoes plump up and the carrot is softened, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a bit. Place this in a blender along with all the other sauce ingredients. Blend until as smooth as you’d like. Return to pot to keep warm.
Put mushroom slices in a pan with no oil. Cook on medium high to cook out some of the water first, until they start to sweat. Then add the onions and parsley and saute until the onions become translucent and the mushrooms have begun to brown. Add the balsamic vinegar (just enough to coat the mushrooms, not to have extra liquid in the pan), stir, and turn off the heat.
In a cast iron skillet or on a griddle preferably, put a tablespoon or so of canola oil in a hot pan. Add as many eggplant slices as can fit in the pan (with one side of the eggplant touching the pan– do not layer.). Flip when underside begins to brown. If eggplant does not soften, reduce the heat and press the eggplant against the pan with a spatula. The eggplant should start to look more soft and damp but be brown on parts. When they are done, remove them to a plate and repeat until all eggplant is cooked.
You could alternatively roast the eggplant in the oven, but ideally you want the eggplant to have crisp browned edges and be soft in the middle.
Serve the eggplant steaks topped with the sauce, then topped with the mushroom garnish.