Eggplants are not too popular in traditional central european cuisine. The most common reason is that it is not produced in our climate. The eggplants imported from other countries (mainly from the Netherland) are very bitter in taste. Before cooking anything from them you need to soak eggplants’ slices into the salted water for minimum 30 min to reduce this bitter taste. Then the eggplants are ready to be cooked.
Here in Dubai I was surprised by how many types of aubergines exist: small, big, round, long, white, pink, purple, etc. Most of them are from local produce or imported from neighbored countries. Always fresh, shiny and glossy.
Doing my shopping I can’t just pass by these beauties: I always take some of them even if I have no idea what I will cook from them.
And every time when I am in my kitchen watching on these purple, perfect in shape and color veggies, the Muse comes to me. I know exactly how to cook eggplant to enhance their own taste and not to hide it in too many ingredients.
Certainly one process extracts eggplants’ taste in the best way – roasting and grilling. If you are lucky to have good grill and know how to use it – this is the way to success. I can eat the slices of eggplants directly from the grill with just a pinch of my favorite smoke sea salt flakes and olive oil. But! If you have only electrical oven with no chance to roast the eggplants to this smoky taste – then you have to be creative to make such eggplant dish that everyone will enjoy.
This time I want to share with you one of my favorite EGGPLANTS WITH NUTS. It can be a salad, side dish or starter – depend on your own preferences.
Eggplants, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil is a perfect marriage. I always love this flavor combination.
The secret ingredient – spice mix. The one I love to use here – called HKMELI-SUNELI – traditional Georgian spice mix. It is unique in taste and perfectly matches to any aubergines’ dishes.
It contains: basil, red spicy pepper, dried root veggies (parsley, celery, dill), coriander, bay leaves, savory, fenugreek, hyssop, mint and marjoram.
Currently in our globalization’s reality and shops with Russian food everywhere it is not a problem to find this spice mix. You will not regret! Promise!
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