Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spiced Eggplant: A VT Recipe

I think I've been reading Vegetarian Times magazine since I was 11 or 12 years old.  It was pretty lonely as a vegetarian tween in Texas, at least in regards to food camaraderie.   This magazine was an older, wiser vegetarian, teaching me  not to rely only on veggie corn dogs and fake nuggets, but to actually eat mostly vegetables.

But I have something to confess. In all these years of reading the magazine, I have rarely used any of the recipes.  I love to flip through the magazine, noting interesting flavor combinations, cooking techniques or new products I'd like to try.  I read the articles and look at the pictures.  But I think it's been a year since I've used a recipe from this (or any) magazine.

When I saw the feature on pressure cooker recipes in the February issue, though, I knew I had to give them a try!  I love my pressure cooker, but mostly just use it for beans and broth.  The Spiced Eggplant with Feta (optional) and Pomegranate Seeds caught by eye right away.  I love that the dish calls for pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint- fantastic ingredients to compliment tomato-ey eggplant!

I did make a few substitutions to the recipe since I am physically incapable of following a recipe (including my own) exactly.  I used canned fava beans instead of canned chickpeas and I didn't have Aleppo pepper, so I used a combo of paprika and cayenne.  Maybe it's because of my substitutions, but I didn't think this dish was especially flavorful.  I ended up needing to pressure cook it for 10 minutes, rather than 6, but I think that's because I used regular eggplant instead of Japanese eggplant (to my credit, I did cut it smaller to compensate for the larger diameter and heartier texture).  

I loved the combo of pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses with the eggplant and will definitely be stealing that flavor combo for other dishes.  And the color combination is killer.  Maybe a marinade for eggplant kebabs with the molasses?  Or doing  a cold salad with these ingredients and roasted eggplant?  Or maybe just more spices with this same dish would bring it more into my favor?  Don't get me wrong- it's pretty good.  But it's just not quite as stellar as I imagined.

Next up is the pressure cooked curried cauliflower.  This one sounds promising!  


Anonymous said...

Canned beans in a pressure cooker recipe?!? That seems crazy!


Pearl said...

I've been reading fifty-five plus magazine since I was a teen and am yet to take a senior's getaway. does that compare? nah.

a pressure cooker would be a neat toy. tend towards temptation towards a slow-cooker myself.