Behold the eggplant. That big, purple, funny shaped, and suggestive emoji. As odd as it looks it is supremely delicious and beautiful in its own special way. Don’t you agree? As a pescatarian I love using natural meat alternatives instead of soy based products whenever I can. Eggplant is such a great choice as it absorbs flavor and can really hold up on its own. Most people are familiar with Eggplant Parmesan and don’t know what else to do with this over sized purple plant. Well, I turned to my friends at Food52 to get some new inspiration for eggplant and came across this amazing recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi. I made some tweaks to it such as using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, swapping peeled tomatoes for fire roasted tomatoes, and added some sweet bay scallops my husband dove for earlier that morning! Side note, I prefer to pronounce scallops, skah-lupps it’s way more fun to say it that way. Try it. Ha! Here is how we break down the recipe:
Serving Size: 4+
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
- 1/3 cup softened coconut oil
- 1 eggplant, diced – I tend to be on the rustic side when it comes to chopping, drives my mom mad (love you Marmie!) but depending on what you are chopping and the cooking process it doesn’t always have to be exactly uniform.
- 1 cup bay scallops, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/4 dry white wine – Remember when you are cooking with wine make sure it is wine you would also drink…so pour yourself a glass while your chopping 😉
- 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 5-6 tablespoons of water – I did not drain the tomatoes so I didn’t need too much water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoons agave
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
First, slice your washed eggplant into 3/4″ thick rounds, trimming the ends of course. Lightly salt each side and line those purty eggplant medallions on a cooling rack. Eggplants contain a lot of moisture, doing this helps to dry it out and makes your eggplant after you cook it much less mushy. After 15-20 minutes you’ll start to see little beads of water form. I use a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel to absorb and then flip each slice over and allow it to rest again for another 20 minutes. Dab (feel free to do the dance move) with your towel now you are ready to dice.
Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and pan fry it until you get a nice golden brown color, about 15 minutes. Remove it using a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a towel lined plate to help absorb some of the oil.
Add the scallops to the same oil, these cute little guys only need about five minutes over medium heat. Remove using a slotted spatula and place in a bowl. If you have excess oil, pour it out to be discarded – I typically use an old soup can from the recycle bin.
Keep your stove on medium heat, add the tomato paste and add back in the eggplant. Cook for a couple minutes then add the white wine, sip your own wine do a couple dab dance moves and stir which should take you about two minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, water, salt, agave, and Italian seasoning cook for for 5 minutes. Finally, add the bay scallops and toss them all up in that sauce, cooking for no more than two minutes.
Serve over pasta, any shape or size will do; the original recipe calls for polenta. Top with a pinch of fresh parsley. I served ours over spaghetti squash which is super easy to make, don’t be intimidated. Holla! Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Serving Size: 4
Prep Time: 7-8 minutes
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
- Medium sized spaghetti squash
- 2 T olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 375 F
Thoroughly wash your squash. Poke the squash around (from top to bottom) where you are going to cut with a fork. Pop it in the microwave on an oven safe plate for three minutes. Turn it over and cook for another 3 minutes, careful it may be hot. Allow the squash to cool for about 5 minutes so it’s easier to handle. This poke-then-microwave technique will make your spaghetti squash SO MUCH easier to cut! Thanks for the tip, Ashely 😉 Clean out and discard the seeds.
Haha, I had to put this in here. It’s like our dog, Snook, knows how good this is going to smell AND taste!
Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.
Drizzle both sides of your squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Allow it to roast for 45-60 minutes depending on the size. When you pull it out of the oven the sides of the squash should be golden to dark brown. Carefully flip her over and use tongs to get the noodle like consistency of the squash. Yum…look at those golden brown edges.
Plate and top with eggplant and scallop sauce or your favorite pasta sauce. Prepare to be fully satisfied, and don’t forget your glass wine in the kitchen.