Sep 6
2012

Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Almond Butter Coconut Sauce

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Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Almond Butter Coconut Sauce

When you’re a kid and your parents mention eggplant, they might as well say, “We’re having fried cockroaches with beetle blood sauce for dinner.” Actually, some kids might find that more appealing than the dreaded eggplant. So, when my kids ran inside, clutching three white eggplants (though you can use any type of eggplant for this recipe) from our garden, I began to scramble for ways to squelch that nasty reputation. With our love of Asian flavors (I know, I know…twice in one week), I thought I could reel them in with a take on a satay sauce, using almond butter instead of the usual peanut version.

Making this appetizer or side dish takes very little effort. That is a very good thing because I am decidedly low on effort by the end of the week. Just one little point to remember when making your dinner prep plans. The eggplant will need to be salted and left to rest in a colander for 1 hour before roasting.

While this may seem like an overly picky instruction, I can assure you that it will make a big difference in taste and texture of the eggplant. If you’re someone who’s always avoided eggplant because you found it too bitter, this little tip will change your feelings toward the humble aubergine.

And then there’s the sauce. While the eggplant is roasting, toss all of the sauce ingredients – almond butter, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, chili-garlic sauce (found in Asian aisle of the supermarket), fish sauce (don’t be scared; the flavor melds with the sauce) and lime juice – into the blender and pulse away. Briefly heat it on the stovetop and the sauce is ready to go.

“What did the kids think?” you ask. Better or worse than fried cockroaches? Considering that they haven’t actually tasted fried cockroaches, it would be unfair to say that the eggplant won. However, I will tell you that they took more than one bite and gave it a three-quarters thumbs-up. That’s pretty darn good in our household (it’s a tough crowd).

As for me…well, I polished off two plates of these roasted beauties, drizzling on a little extra sauce on the second go-round. Definitely a keeper.

The recipe:

The eggplant:
Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle both sides of slices with kosher salt and, using your hands, gently press the salt into the eggplant.

Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Almond Butter Coconut Sauce

Lay the eggplant slices in a colander, set in a sink, and let it rest for 1 hour. This will help to draw some of the bitterness and extra liquid out of the eggplant, and will help to give the vegetable a pleasing taste and texture.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove the eggplant slices from the colander, rinse off the salt and pat dry with paper towel.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay the eggplant on the foil and brush both sides of the slices with olive oil.

Roast the eggplant for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender.

The sauce:
While the eggplant is cooking, make the sauce. In a food processor or heavy-duty blender, combine the almond butter, lite coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce and lime juice. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.

Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Almond Butter Coconut Sauce

Pour the sauce into a small saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is warm and slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. You may find that you have some sauce left over. Drizzle it in wraps or over a serving of brown rice.

Divide the eggplant slices between plates and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with minced cilantro. Serve.

Other eggplant recipes:

EggplantCollage
Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Zucchini & Eggplant Parmesan
Cookin’ Canuck’s Vegetarian Naan Pizza with Eggplant & Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto
Jeanette’s Healthy Living’s Asian Grilled Eggplant with Soy Sesame Sauce
Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Eggplant Soup
Living Lou’s Roasted Eggplant Dip

Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Almond Butter Coconut Sauce

Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Almond Butter Coconut Sauce

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

    The eggplant:
  • 1 1/4 pounds eggplant (Japanese, globe or white)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • The sauce:
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

Instructions

    The eggplant:
  1. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle both sides of slices with kosher salt and, using your hands, gently press the salt into the eggplant.
  2. Lay the eggplant slices in a colander, set in a sink, and let it rest for 1 hour. This will help to draw some of the bitterness and extra liquid out of the eggplant, and will help to give the vegetable a pleasing taste and texture.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Remove the eggplant slices from the colander, rinse off the salt and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay the eggplant on the foil and brush both sides of the slices with olive oil.
  6. Roast the eggplant for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender.
  7. The sauce:
  8. While the eggplant is cooking, make the sauce. In a food processor or heavy-duty blender, combine the almond butter, lite coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce and lime juice. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
  9. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is warm and slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Divide the eggplant slices between plates and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with minced cilantro. Serve.

Notes

The sauce is inspired by Asian Wraps by Nina Simonds.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 6, 2012 at 6:58 am

I DREADED eggplant as a kid, but seek it out now. Turns out my momma just didn’t cook it right (sorry momma). Your sauce especially sounds amazing. Yum!

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2 Maria September 6, 2012 at 7:03 am

We picked up eggplant at the farmers market. I will have to try this!

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3 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes September 6, 2012 at 7:10 am

Love the flavors in this sauce.

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4 claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine September 6, 2012 at 7:39 am

Wow and extraordinary sauce love it!

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5 carrian September 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

Holy sauce friend. I am so intrigued! I’ve never had a almond butter coconut sauce on anything. Seriously sounds good.

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6 KalynsKitchen September 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

What a brilliant recipe. I notice that even adults can be a tough sell on eggplant, but love the way you’ve added so many flavor to it.

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7 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings September 6, 2012 at 9:18 am

Wow- this looks great!!

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8 Delishhh September 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

I do not eat enough eggplant but this sounds fabulous!

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9 Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa September 6, 2012 at 9:36 am

Mmm I have an eggplant sitting in my fridge at home just waiting to be used. This looks like the perfect recipe!

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10 Bev @ Bev Cooks September 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

Did you say almond butter coconut sauce?

ALMOND BUTTER COCONUT SAUCE?

adopt me.

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11 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I would probably be on the side of fried cockroaches :) I’m not a huge fan of the E plant but……I am always willing to expand my palate so I’d give these a shot :)

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12 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I really can’t see anyone who would say “no” to this dish. Not even my picky 3 year-old! Genius!

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13 addie @ culicurious September 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm

yum, this looks great! i love eggplant

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14 Cathy @ Noble Pig September 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I want this for dinner…yum!

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15 carolinaheartstrings September 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I love your recipes. They are so visually appealing!

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16 Minnie(@thelady8home) September 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

This sounds so flavourful. Fabulous!!! BTW do join me at my space. I am hosting a gala dinner extravaganza, a fabulous linky party for all.
http://www.thelady8home.com/2012/09/06/weekend-dinner-extravaganza/

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17 Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I happen to love eggplant; what a great new way to use it!

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18 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective September 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

Dara, that sauce sounds incredible! We’re always looking for new ways to dress up eggplant.

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19 Donalyn September 8, 2012 at 7:44 am

This looks amazingly delicious – our eggplants have not prospered this year, but a neighbor offered me some – can’t wait to try this!

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20 Aubrey @ Homegrown and Healthy September 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

I’ve been seeing so many yummy looking eggplant recipes lately that I decided to do a post on our blog with a list of some of the most recent ones. I just wanted to give you a heads up that this one is on there as well! <3 http://homegrownandhealthy.com/eggplant-roundup/

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21 brandi September 11, 2012 at 8:04 am

i love the idea of this sauce on the eggplant! or, really, on just about anything.

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22 Christeen May 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

This looks absolutely amazing! I love that you got creative with the sauce instead of doing something more traditional like marinara.

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23 Fructe uscate February 17, 2014 at 2:28 am

Perfect recipe!

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24 Joe February 18, 2014 at 8:15 pm

It’s a Great Dish…. But….. How do I save this recipe into my Recipe Box on this site???

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25 Victoria October 12, 2014 at 1:23 am

We as a family love aubergine (yes, I’m British – and my partner and children are French!), and this got a resounding thumbs-up from all of us. The sauce is fantastic, and I found it completely unnecessary to put it through a blender: all the ingredients are smooth, so I just mixed it vigorously in the pan. Saves on washing-up!
We also felt the cilantro (coriander to us) was a magic addition.
Yum!

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