Rose Harissa-Glazed Eggplant

Serves 4.

Big flavor belies how easy it is to make this dish. It’s 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 the Middle Eastern cooks and is a great technique to add to your culinary repertoire! We learned it from several of Yotom Ottolenghi’s recipes.

1 large, Italian eggplant, washed, un-peeled
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2–3 tablespoons Rose Harissa paste (recipe here)
Salt and black pepper
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).

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