A pioneering champion of sustainable foods, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall embraces all manner of vegetables in his latest cookbook, River Cottage Veg, an inventive offering of more than 200 vegetable-based recipes that includes vegan recipes, handy weeknight one-pot meals, pure and simple raw dishes, hearty salads and more. This roasted eggplant recipe with seasoned potatoes is from chapter 9 “Roast, grill & broil”.
This is a very simple dish, and one that doesn’t take long to cook. You can serve it alongside a rich stew, or as part of a spread of meze-type dishes. There are various ways to finish it that subtly alter its character: stir in the finely grated zest of a lemon when it comes out of the oven, or dust with hot smoked paprika for a patatas bravas effect. Leftovers are great in an omelet or frittata. For more vegetable-based recipes from River Cottage Veg, read Frequently Vegetarian: Make a Case for Eating More Vegetables.
Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Seasoned Potatoes
• 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
• 2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound)
• About 1 pound potatoes (any type will do), unpeeled
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
• Lemon juice
To finish (optional):
• Finely grated lemon zest, hot smoked paprika, or chopped herbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Put the oil in a large nonstick roasting pan and heat in the oven for a good 10 minutes, until the oil is sizzling hot.
2. Meanwhile, cut the eggplants and potatoes into 1-inch cubes, tip into a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Take the roasting pan from the oven and place on a stable, heatproof surface. Add the eggplants and potatoes and turn to coat in the oil, being careful not to splash yourself. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
3. Remove from the oven, stir in the garlic, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are golden brown all over. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a little more salt and pepper if needed, and any finishing touches you fancy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Variation: Roasted Spiced Eggplant with Chickpeas
Omit the potatoes and use a total of 5 medium eggplants (about 2-1/2 pounds). Toss the cubed eggplant with 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander; and a small fresh red chile, finely chopped (or a good pinch of cayenne). After the initial 30 minutes’ roasting time, add a drained and rinsed 14-ounce can of chickpeas, along with the sliced garlic, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and add the grated zest of a small lemon and lots of chopped parsley and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.