First, an addition to my recipe for Creamy Charred Eggplant – I missed out a step. After you’ve chargrilled the eggplant and scooped out the flesh, let the flesh drain in a sieve for 10-15 minutes. It gets rid of a lot of the watery liquid which, while it won’t affect the taste of the dish, can detract from the creamy texture.
Last night I served the Creamy Charred Eggplant on top of a cannellini bean sautee with a Med/Middle Eastern vibe. Sauteed plenty of onion in olive oil until well softened, frying in a baharat I made (this one had black pepper, cumin, allspice, paprika, coriander seed and salt) and added what dark greens I had in the garden (good old cavalo nero and spinach, again!), then a tin of crushed tomatoes, some tomato paste to really get the lycopene content up and make the dish more umami, a tsp of sugar, and lastly a tin of cannellini beans. Let it all simmer away for a good half hour or longer while the eggplant roasted. I made a side dish of natural yohgurt with chopped mint and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt – add a dollop on top of the main or on the side. Great easy and hearty but not heavy dish that could be adapted depending what greens and pulses you have to hand.