VDP: Eggplant Cutlets, Chickpeas and Yogurt Sauce

Wednesday, February 22, 2008

I think chickpeas, eggplant and yogurt are a Mediterranean match made in heaven. In one of Paula Wofert’s books, “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean“, she has a recipe for an eggplant and chickpea stew that I love. That one is more like a thick Caponata and includes tomatoes, but it is sort of an inspiration for this combo here.

I first salted the thick cut eggplant and let them drain overnight. After rinsing and drying them, I marinated them in a mixture of pomegranate molasses, garlic and thyme. I let them sit in the marinade till I got back from work. Looking back at this, I should’ve broiled the eggplant. Instead I floured and pan fried them in my cast iron skillet. Broiling cooks them more evenly and makes them less greasy.

The chickpeas came from a can (almost all canned beans and legumes are very decent products) and were quickly sautéed with onions, garlic, cumin, paprika and Aleppo pepper. The yogurt sauce is a mixture of strained thick homemade yogurt (Labni or Labneh), some Tahini (sesame paste), garlic, cumin and lemon juice.

To serve it, I mixed in some fresh mint leaves with the chickpeas. I then made stacks with the eggplant slices and the chickpeas, sandwiching some sauce in between. I finished the dishes with more sauce, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper. We ate it with pita bread, an awesome and satisfying dish.

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3 thoughts on “VDP: Eggplant Cutlets, Chickpeas and Yogurt Sauce”

  1. Elie,

    Beautiful photo and a great idea!

    I can’t wait to try your version.

    BTW I have started “frying” eggplant slices on a serrated teflon griddle. You get blackened grid marks as well as the taste of a fried slice..

  2. A question about the marinade – do you refrigerate the eggplant in the marinde? BTW, i’m from H-town too. Have you been over to the new bigger Phonecia on Westheimer? Love that place!

  3. alpa-
    I did not refrigertae the eggplant this time. I left them in ziplock bag in a bowl overnight. If you are going to leave them to marinate more than 24 hours, it is probably a good idea to refrigerate.

    Phonecia is pretty cool. Problem is that it’s too much out of the way for me to go there regularly.

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