To me, eggplant is really the quintessential Israeli vegetable. It's in just about everything, and I could probably come up with about 20 different ways to do it, but this time around I was looking for something inspired. I headed to the grocery store with nothing in mind besides eggplant and I got back to the my kitchen with this delicious sautéed eggplant in an amazing spicy tomato sauce. This eggplant dish must have filled some kind of void for others as well; I made this in my Instagram stories and several people messaged me they were making it that night! Here is the official recipe. I hope you'll enjoy.
Serves 4 as a side
1 medium eggplant
1 red or yellow bell pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons harissa paste
1/4 cup parsley
1. Cut eggplant in to a thick dice and place on a paper-towel lined plate and salt the eggplant well. Allow it to sit in the salt for about 30 minutes so it can release moisture.
2. Dice the bell pepper and set aside
3. In a cup or mixing bowl add the tomato paste and water and mix until well combined.
4. Preheat a saucepan on medium and add in one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, but not burnt. Then add in oregano, paprika, cumin and coriander and stir well to combine. Allow the spices to toast for about 10 seconds, and then add in the tomato paste mixture. Lastly, add in harissa paste (you may want to use less depending on your desired level of spice, so add it in incrementally.) Stir this mixture well and add salt, as desired. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes, watching that the mixture does not reduce or thicken too much.
5. While the tomato sauce is simmering, pat the eggplant dry. Preheat a sauté pan and add in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Then add in the eggplant and peppers and lightly season with the salt and add in the parsley. Cover and allow them to soften, stirring every so often, for about 10 minutes. If you notice the eggplant is sticking to the pan quite a bit, drizzle the 3rd tablespoon of olive oil over the eggplant and peppers.
6. Once the eggplant mixture has fully softened, pour the tomato sauce over the eggplant and stir well to combine. Garnish with parsley.