The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.
Okay, last month I mentioned this recipe, but I didn’t want to distract from that amazing recipe. So now it’s time for this one to shine all on its own.
At the end of the day, this is an eggplant dish. I don’t know how people feel about eggplant one way or the other, but I’m sort of ambivalent on them in general. However, this is the perfect way to eat them. The eggplant is very tender, and the seasonings / toppings give it a lot of flavor.
It’s good, not too difficult to make, and it seems very fancy pants (at least to me, who is admittedly not exactly the final word on fancy pants).
In fact, that basically goes for everything in Jerusalem, so you should go out and buy it immediately. We have not had a bad recipe yet.
Recipe from Jerusalem.
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon peel (I’m told they’re available in stores, but ours actually came from the food swap)
- 2/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 cup fine bulgur
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 3 1/2 tablespoons warm water
- 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons) cilantro, chopped, plus extra to finish
- 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons) mint, chopped
- 1/3 cup pitted green olives, halved (we didn’t use these because Sara doesn’t like olives)
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- To make the chermoula, mix together in a small bowl the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili, paprika, preserved lemon, two-thirds of the olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with deep, diagonal crisscross cuts, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Put in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the eggplants are completely soft.
- Meanwhile, place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water.
- Soak the raisins in the warm water. After 10 minutes, drain the raisins and add them to the bulgur, along with the remaining oil. Add the herbs, olives, almonds, green onions, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Serve the eggplants warm or at room temperature. Place 1/2 eggplant, cut side up, on each individual plate. Spoon the bulgur on top, allowing some to fall from both sides. Spoon over some yogurt, sprinkle with cilantro and finish with a drizzle of oil.