Recipe courtesy of Chef Jen Pearson of Guadalupe Cafe
6 medium Japanese eggplant, sliced—or 4 medium Italian eggplants, peeled & cubed
1/2 small sweet onion, cut in 1″ wide slices
1 or 2 small heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (include their juice) Sea salt & black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Yellow mustard seed (whole)
1/8 cup chopped fresh basil (can substitute other herbs on hand—dill or cilantro for example)
Lemon juice, to taste *
*Chef’s Note: In place of lemon juice, you can substitute lime or orange juice—or a capful of balsamic, apple cider, or brown rice vinegar. The flavor will be slightly different, but equally delicious!
Toss the eggplant, onion and tomatoes in a bowl with a liberal shot of extra virgin olive oil. Add a big pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and spices—yellow mustard seed, coriander and a smaller pinch of curry powder.
Arrange on a sheet pan in a single layer. Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove eggplant mixture from the oven when the veggies are starting to caramelize and develop a little char around the edges.
Once mixture cools down, puree or mash half of it. Stir in the remaining mixture to create a chunky texture. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and fresh herbs to taste.
Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. Spread on fresh bread or homemade crackers with local goat cheese. Add a hearty spoonful to any salad, tossed with your favorite pasta, or atop quinoa.
Chef’s Note: Substitute other local in-season ingredients for the eggplant—such as tomatoes, summer squash, sweet onions, zucchini, patty pan squash, mushrooms or any combination—to make this healthy and nutritious dish throughout the growing season! For the herbs: substitute marjoram, rosemary, parsley, thyme. Explore new spices such as cumin, smoked paprika, or toasted sesame seeds to add a fusion of world flavors.