Rose Harissa-Glazed Eggplant
Big flavor belies how easy it is to make this dish. It makes a terrific side and is good served hot or at room temperature — and leftovers will spark up tomorrow’s lunchtime sandwich.
Steaming (or boiling) eggplant is cooking method familiar to Asian and Middle Eastern cooks and is a great technique to add to any culinary repertoire! We learned it from several of Yotom Ottolenghi’s recipes.
1 large Italian eggplant, washed, un-peeled
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2–3 tablespoons Rose Harissa paste (recipe below)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro or parsley, optional garnish
Cut the eggplant into 1¼-inch cubes. Put the cubes into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt and add cold water to cover. Let soak for 20 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
Put a steamer basket into a big pot with a tight-fitting lid and add water to 1½-inch depth (it mustn’t touch the bottom of the steamer). Set the pot over medium-high heat, cover, and bring the water to a boil. Add the eggplant, cover the pot, and steam for exactly 12 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large wok or deep skillet set over medium-high heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the harissa paste, stir well, then add the steamed eggplant and toss well to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, season to taste, and serve garnished with some fresh herbs (if using).
Rose Harissa Paste:
Makes about ¼ cup.
2 tablespoons Rose Harissa
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vinegar
1½ teaspoon olive oil
Put the harissa into a small skillet set over medium heat. Add the water and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes (the spices will sizzle and splutter a bit). Turn off the heat and whisk in the vinegar and oil. Tightly covered and stored in the fridge, paste should keep for up to a month.