This tasty and easy to prepare eggplant dish would
be a perfect addition to a Middle Eastern Meze. It comes from well know
cook book author, Ghillie Basan, from her book Modern Moroccan. This is
a recipe that is definitely best served the next day, room temperature.
This appetizer dip was a nice change from the usual eggplant-tomato parings.
Honey Spiced Eggplant Appetizer
2 large eggplants, (approx 1 1/2 lbs) thickly sliced or same weight of
baby eggplants, halved
1/3 cup olive oil
5 tablespoons honey
Juice 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon harissa or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Lay the eggplant slices out on paper towels, or cloth and sprinkle all
cut surfaces generously with salt.
Let the eggplants
disgorge for about 15-20 minutes then wipe them dry with paper towels.
Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and cook in the skillet,
not overlapping the slices, until well browned on both sides. (You'll
no doubt have to do this in batches.) Set the slices to a plate on the
In a bowl combine the honey and lemon juice with about 2/3 cup of hot
water. Stir to dissolve.
Heat the skillet again, adding a bit more oil if none is left.
Add the garlic and ginger, stirring for about 30 seconds, then add the
cumin and harissa (or cayenne pepper) stirring another 30 seconds.
Stir in the honey-lemon water and bring to a boil.
Lay the eggplant pieces into the pan, overlapping if needed, and cook
over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning the pieces as necessary
to ensure all are coated with the sauce. Cook until it reduces into a
thick glaze and the eggplant pieces are completely soft. (add a bit more
water if the sauce reduces before the eggplant is ready).
Taste for seasoning,
add salt if needed.
Let cool, sprinkle
with the chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature.