Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Aubergines and Quinoa

I have a few more weeks left of my 2012 CSA, and I haven't really experimented with eggplant yet. I found a great grilled eggplant recipe on Sprouted Kitchen, so I figured this would be a perfect attempt for me to try something healthy and get a variety of veggies into my regular diet (apart from my beloved kale chips). I actually dislike eating vegetables and I am on a quest to find easy and/or fun recipes in which I can cram in as many different types of veggies as possible without cringing. If I had my way, I would likely have the black label burger from Minetta Tavern (medium rare, of course) every night of the week.

P.S. I think that eggplant may actually be classified as a fruit.
P.P.S. Doesn't the word aubergine remind you of that yellow box of 64 count crayola crayons you got every year as school started again?

I picked up three kinds of eggplant: white; fairytale (the small-ish purple one you see below); and a normal one to make roasted eggplant and goat cheese enchiladas with later this week (hopefully I can blog that too).

{Letting the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes to release water.}

{Cilantro, basil, chives from my windowsill, and red onion}

I used a grill pan to grill the eggplant, as obviously I do not own an outdoor grill. Hm. I bet I could use this pan to make a delicious medium rare burger as well. I felt very Bobby Flay-esque with all the grill marks. 

45 minutes later and I have this! And leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Grilled Eggplant with Herbed Quinoa, recipe adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

Serves 6


  • 3-4 eggplants 
  • Salt (a dash here and there)
  • Olive oil for brushing the eggplant plus 1 tbsp. for the quinoa 
  • Za'taar seasoning (I did not have this nor could I find it at my grocery store, so I left it out...I'm sure it would have tied it all together) 
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed (I also let mine soak for about 15 minutes) 
  • Half of a small red onion, sliced thin
  • A handful each of basil, cilantro and dill (I used chives) 
  • 2 tbsp. capers, roughly chopped (I excluded this))
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (I excluded this)

Cut the eggplants into 1/2" thick rounds. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes.

Soak and rinse the quinoa (I soaked my quinoa for about 15 minutes). Add the quinoa to a pot with about 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring it to a gentle boil, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff it with a fork, cover again, and let it steam for another 5 minutes.

Heat the grill pan (I set mine to medium heat). Press the eggplants between a dishcloth to absorb the excess moisture. Brush both sides with olive oil and grill for about 5-7 minutes per each side, until you have some nice sepia (crayola box again) toned grill marks on each side. Remove to a plate, drizzle with olive oil and top with za'atar to taste.

Once the quinoa is done, place it in a medium sized bowl. Add the red onions, herbs, oil, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything to mix.

Place a few eggplants on a plate, and top with the herbed quinoa. If you are using pinenuts, top with the toasted pine nuts.

I had a small serving for dinner, along with steamed green beans, steamed corn and baked kale chips, and put the rest in my nerdy Tupperware for lunch the next day.

Then I ate nearly a pint of dark chocolate ice cream for dessert while watching The Kardashians (oops), and set my alarm for 5:45am to make my favorite spin class on Monday morning (repenting the ice cream).

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