Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Braised Splayed Eggplant
Eggplant’s exquisite creaminess shines in this luscious dish. Carmelized sweet onion, heirloom tomatoes, sweet baby bell peppers and garlic are sandwiched between its splayed slices, softened on the stovetop, then braised in their own juices in a hot oven. Served here with a splash of basil-garlic-miso sauce to balance the eggplant’s sweetness. So high in fiber, it’s quite filling with next to no calories, it literally melts in your mouth. No added salt or oil.
Hint: Modern varieties of eggplant, happily, are not bitter and require no pre-salting and rinsing.
Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 45 minutes Number of servings 6
Garlic Basil Sauce
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
1 head garlic, dry roasted and peeled
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoons white (Shinshu) miso
Pinch ground white pepper
6 firm Italian eggplants
3 large heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, thickly sliced
3 sweet onions like Vidalia,maui or walla-walla, thickly sliced
½ pound of baby bell peppers, mixed colors, cored and deseeded
1 garlic head, dry roasted and peeled
Dried oregano leaves
Black pepper, freshly ground
1+ cups no-sodium veggie broth
Garlic Basil Sauce
The amount of water you add to the blender will determine how thick a sauce you get (e.g. thicker for a dip, thinner to distribute with a squeeze bottle). Start conservatively and add a bit more as needed for your purposes. Combine basil, peeled garlic and seasonings in a high-speed blender. Run until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like.
Preheat oven to 450°F/232°C
To roast garlic heads, remove loose out layers of papery skins and dry roast in a 375°/190°C oven for 30 minutes. Cool and peel.
Prepare eggplant by trimming the tough outer layer of the stem, then slicing them towards the stem but leaving about an inch at the top intact.
Fill slots alternately with onion, tomato, the baby peppers and slip in roasted garlic cloves throughout.
Arrange tightly in a casserole pan and sprinkle generously with oregano and grinds of black pepper. Depending on the size of your pan and girth of your eggplants, you may need to use 2 casseroles or cook it in batches.
Add enough broth to cover ½” up the sides, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Check periodically to ensure the liquid hasn’t evaporated, adding more if needed.
Begin checking at 20 minutes for doneness (a fork should penetrate effortlessly). Re-cover and cook a bit longer if needed.
Remove cover. The veggies will have released additional liquid. Leave ½” coating of juices in the pan and remove the rest. Bake without lid for 10 minutes, remove from oven, remove excess liquid if needed, brush the veggies with their braising liquid and return to the oven. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the onion, peppers and tomatoes have carmelized and the eggplant begins to collapse.
Remove from oven and brush again with braising liquid.
Serve on warmed plates with plenty of garlic basil sauce.
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