Eggplant with Tomato Garlic Sauce is one of those appetizers thats so good you will finish eating it before you even manage to set it down!
Eggplants and tomatos are probably the top used ingredients in my house, aside from staple items like onions and garlic. If you don’t believe me look at this upside down savory eggplant pie and this mixed vegetable casserole which includes eggplants and tomatoes just to name a few. They’re just so good and together they are unbeatable. I usually make it with meat like this Baked Eggplant in Tomato dish and I thought Yaseen was going to make the same dish when he was describing what he was making to me. I wanted to cut him off and tell him I had the same dish on the blog already but I figured I’ll let him do his thing, maybe he has a different technique that I don’t know about.
And I’m so glad I let him do his thing! While my go to dish that sounded similar has meat, his does not and he serves it as an appetizer although it fully qualifies as an entree dish as well.
And again, I thought I knew what he was doing when he started making his tomato sauce, in fact I almost stopped paying attention because I thought I knew, but I was pleasantly surprised! He added a “secret” ingredient that gave it the perfect tang.
One of the most important things to remember when dealing with eggplant is you want to make sure you salt them and let them sit for at least an hour, the longer the better. Eggplants retain a lot of moisture which dilutes it’s flavor unless you use this method.
The traditional way to make any eggplant dish in the Middle East is to fry it. We’re trying our best to live a healthier lifestyle and I’ve been avoiding frying anything lately so I began baking the eggplant. Once I tried Yaseens way to broil it, I am hooked. They taste as if they were fried minus all the oil that makes you feel so good while eating it but then blah right afterwards. This is a guilt free way to make eggplant dishes! I even give my 10 month old an eggplant and he holds it and munches on it because it tastes so good and it’s soft enough that I don’t have to worry.
After the aroma of stewed tomatoes, fresh garlic cooking with onions, and eggplant filled the house and Yaseen gave me plate of it to taste, I again, thought I knew what it would taste like (because, remember, I stopped paying attention when he was making the tomato sauce because I thought it was exactly how I make it). Low and behold, I take a bite and wow, this was so different and so good. How can one use the same ingredients and make it so different! He adds white vinegar and a little bit of sugar to cut the acidity and it really hit the spot and gave it the perfect umph.
I’ve made this dish numerous times since he shared the recipe with me and you will too!
- 2 Medium Eggplants
- 3-4 Peeled and Pureed Tomatoes Finely chop by hand or Puree tomatoes in a blender
- 3-4 Chopped Garlic Cloves
- ½ Cup Chopped Flat Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
- 3/4 Tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of Chili Pepper
- Salt and Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Peel eggplant and slice into ¾ inch slices. Note: you can leave thin strips of peel for texture and to enhance the dish visually
- Arrange around the sides of a colander and place on a plate. Sprinkle generously with Kosher Salt
- Allow to sit for 2-3 hours. Note: This step is important to release the excess moisture and bitterness from the eggplant
- Shake eggplant to drain excess water and place on a baking sheet in a single layer
- Coat generously with olive oil on both sides
- Broil in oven on Hi for 10-15 minutes, monitor carefully and flip halfway through when browned. Note: place rack in top half of the oven but not at the very top as eggplant will burn easily
- In a fry pan, fry the garlic in a little olive oil for a few seconds (just a few seconds - do not allow to brown)
- Add the tomato puree, vinegar, sugar, chili pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Reduce heat and cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken, stir occasionaly
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed
- Turn off heat and add the parsley, allow to cool.
- Spoon sauce on top of eggplant, garnish with more parsley (Note: you may have extra sauce depending on your preference for amount of sauce)
- Note: This dish tastes best when allowed to cool. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours before serving
Note: place rack in top half of the oven but not at the very top as eggplant will burn easily Note: This dish tastes best when allowed to cool. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours before serving