Roasted Eggplant w/ Chiles, Peanuts and Mint

Sometimes my husband gets really lucky. And by lucky, I mean that he gets a hot-cooked meal at lunch 🙂 He works from home much of the time, and with that hovers the expectation that something other than pb&j might grace the table at lunchtime. Often, I adhere to that expectation. I figure I know how to cook pretty well… I might as well put my talents to good use, and I know I’ll get the kudos and feedback I so desire.

When I made that delicious Mushroom & Goat Cheese Quiche the other day, I was thinking a salad might be nice to go with it for leftover lunch. But then again, a recent trip to Specialty Produce had me armed with Chinese Eggplant… and I have had this recipe sitting in my must-try-sooner-than-later pile for quite some time. Mint grows out of control in our courtyard, and peanuts, chiles & limes are pretty much a staple around here. No excuses. I had to make this dish:
Specialty Produce describes Chinese Eggplant as being a lovely pale mauve to deep purple in color. This thin-skinned eggplant contains few if any seeds, and its sleek body is long and slim. This variety is about two inches in diameter and six to ten inches long. It offers a mild and bland flavor, but may be slightly bitter. This eggplant is loved more for its texture than its taste.

I personally didn’t see anything wrong with the flavor at all, but this recipe adds so much in terms of flavor pizzazz that it was tough to tell that this type of eggplant originates with a bland flavor.
The eggplant is tossed with oil, red pepper flakes and kosher salt, and then roasted until lightly browned.
The dressing that’s drizzled over is a honey-sweetened lime dressing… perfect pairing with toasted peanuts and chopped mint.
I admit that it all sounds a little odd, but we absolutely loved this side dish. It had an Asian-flair to it, and the lime dressing was a perfect pairing with the flavors of peanut and mint. The eggplant itself was tender, and roasting it brought out a wonderful flavor. I’d make this again and again, without question.

This recipe can be found here: Roasted Eggplant with Chiles, Peanuts and Mint

15 Responses to “Roasted Eggplant w/ Chiles, Peanuts and Mint”

  1. postedMay 18, 2009 4:04 AM

    these look so good 🙂 yummy

  2. postedMay 18, 2009 5:32 AM
    Girl Japan

    Japanese eggplant is very similar, isn’t it just bursting with flavor, I LOVE eating eggplant but I love what you did with yours…

    I grill mine with olive oil, soy sauce (just a tad bit)– oh I could eat this everyday.

  3. postedMay 18, 2009 4:58 AM

    Lucky hubby. I think I would like to crush the peanuts and mix them in the dressing so that you’d get some with every bite. Great combo of flavors.

    • postedMay 18, 2009 5:15 AM

      Joan- great idea! There were actually plenty of peanuts, so you do get some in every bite, but crushing them is definitely an option too.

  4. postedMay 18, 2009 7:47 AM

    I’ve never cooked with Chinese eggplant but this recipe sounds fantastic. I bet if you take all the ingredients and pulse them through a good processor with some olive oil it would make a great dip or vegetarian spread for a sandwich.

  5. postedMay 18, 2009 7:42 AM

    Mmm, I love eggplant, so I can’t wait to try this recipe out. You’re right: your hubby is super lucky to get a nice, hot meal at lunch. I bet he’s spoiled from all of your wonderful cooking. Man oh man, I’m going to have to try this recipe ASAP.

  6. postedMay 18, 2009 8:52 AM

    That looks so good… I may have to give eggplant another chance (not one of my favorites so far).

  7. postedMay 18, 2009 10:47 AM

    Yum, I can imagine the taste. Giving it a Greek touch, I’d make them adding some feta as well.

  8. postedMay 18, 2009 10:52 AM

    What a pretty dish! and the dressing sounds yummy!

  9. postedMay 18, 2009 3:25 PM

    Great side dish. The peanuts are great for crunch.

  10. postedMay 18, 2009 4:16 PM

    Those are some crazy sounding ingredients!!! Sometimes that’s what makes them so good together!!!

  11. postedMay 18, 2009 5:28 PM

    these phtots make me wish I liked eggplant.

  12. postedMay 19, 2009 12:53 AM

    This flavor combination I have never seen before, but I think it can work!!! My eggplants are just about ready to pick now…

  13. postedMay 20, 2009 4:28 AM

    What a treat this would be, your hubby IS lucky!

  14. postedMay 27, 2009 4:03 PM

    Those eggplants are gorgeous. What beautiful Asian style!

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