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Roasted Eggplant

Nancy Silverton

Lesson time 17 min

Luscious globe eggplants are roasted with aromatics and spices to create an unforgettable side for your next dinner party. Learn the eggplant essentials, like how to score, salt and sweat them to release any bitter juices. Caramelize onions, “candy” your garlic, and top with whey to take this dish to another level.

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– [Nancy] All right, I’m gonna get that eggplant going. – [Debbie] Okay. – So these are little mini globe eggplant from Dragan? We still jump on board, buy a good amount of our produce. And it’s still a highlight of our week. All right. So what am I gonna do? I’m gonna put these, I think, on a rack. I’m gonna score them. Let’s see how these look inside. So I am scoring the eggplant, and I’m gonna salt them, so that the eggplant begins to sweat, and it releases all of its bitter juices. All right so. You want to salt this for me? – Yep. – You have your own salt box. – [Debbie] I have my own. I love these little salt boxes. – My dad made me this. And my friend Cecilia’s husband, Michael, made me the one I’m using. – [Debbie] These are great. So you can salt them heavily. So go for it. – Heard that. – And I’ll set that aside. Here help me turn these over, so they can drain. Can you pass that over? – Absolutely. – To there, and let them sit for about, well, close to an hour. I’m gonna get eggplant. I’m on top of you. All right, so I am going to get that eggplant in. – This is extra-virgin, this oil? – Yeah. Here you go. – Thank you. – I don’t know if this is a good trick, or a lazy trick. But I just season up this sheet pan. – I think it’s a great trick. – The eggplant. – ‘Cause then it like sticks to the eggplant a little bit, and they get crispy. – Yeah. Also, you know, I find oftentimes I am conservative about the amount of oil I add to the tray. ‘Cause I don’t like it when it’s like soaked in olive oil. However, it sticks to the pan, and also becomes really dry if you don’t add enough, right? So, I think that’s good. Right? – Yeah. – A good layer. Okay, I’ve got to really pat these down. I’m gonna do it cut side down, so I get some nice color on the skin of the eggplant. – Oh, it leached out a good amount of liquid in that short period of time. Is it wine time? This guy? These are pretty glasses. – Yeah, I’m gonna use them tonight. – These are beautiful. – I just got them. – It’s like painting. It is. – Can you? – Yup. – Just like yeah, ’cause I gotta season that. Oil oil oil, oil oil oil, oil oil. That’s it? – Yeah. – Boy. I just happen to have about 15 more bottles where that came from. – Cheers. – Ah, thank you. – You’re welcome. Cheers. – Great, okay, so I’m gonna add these to the floor of my oven. All right, onions. – [Debbie] Onions. So we’ll cut those like length? – [Nancy] White onions, yellow onions. – Yeah, yellow onions are great. And I would cut them lengthwise. – Yeah, I’m gonna do that. Is that too thin? – [Debbie] No, I like it like that. – That’s good? – Do you like like that? – Yeah. – Okay. – So let’s do the onion. – Olive oil? – Yeah, so I’m just going to give you sort of a, this is an extra virgin olive oil. But it’s not one of my prized olive oils, because you’re gonna be sauteing these in there, right. – I’m sure it’s still delicious. So this pan was already hot. I added the oil. And now I’m going to just add these beautiful onions. – [Nancy] That many? – [Debbie] Yeah. They’ll cook down. Let’s chop some garlic up. – [Nancy] How many cloves? – Like five, that’s perfect. Once the garlic is chopped, it all goes in the pan together. And then I’ll show you. – [Nancy] All right. – I’m gonna season the onions with a good amount of salt. Ooh, and some of that fresh cracked pepper. – [Nancy] I’m chopping this per your request. Cause I assume you want the bits of garlic. You don’t want it as finely grated as like a microplane. – Correct. – And I’ll run a knife through that. How’s this? Come over. – Perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect. All right, perfect. So for this, the oil I do half olive oil, and half neutral oil. – I have some. – Perfect. Right here. Sweet. So I put a little salt first, always. – And once that comes off the heat, do you need to pour it into something right away? – No. – So it can sit? – Right. – And this is, is this the dried mint? – Dried mint, all right. I added the turmeric. And I’m watching the garlic very closely. ‘Cause it goes really fast to the point of burning. It kind of becomes like candy once the garlic caramelizes, it almost, you take it to the point right before it’s gonna burn. – [Nancy] Oh yeah. So it’s not burnt. But it’s getting brown. I have some more live thyme. – [Debbie] Oh, perfect. Okay. So it’s about. – [Nancy] Yep, I see. – Will you get ready with one spoon of the- – I can’t use my fingers? – Use your, no use your fingers. – So you just want the mint to like kind of cover it? – Yeah, and to cool down the temperature of the oil. – [Nancy] How’s that look? – [Debbie] Great. – Any more? – A little bit more. – Okay? – And this is ready. – [Debbie] We’ll spoon this over. – [Nancy] But we’ll just leave it off to the side right now? And that mint, I guess, also stopped the garlic from cooking, right? – Exactly. Butter. Butter makes everything better. Let’s taste for salt. More salt. The pepper is nice. – So no herbs? You got the pepper? – Sweet. We’ll let this go for like another five, 10 minutes, and we’ll be ready. – And we’re not putting the thyme on until at the end? – [Debbie] Yeah, we’ll just garnish it with a little bit. – [Nancy] All right. Okay, so now the whey? – [Debbie] The whey. – [Nancy] Okay. So, it’s in the refrigerator? – [Debbie] Yup. We’re gonna take some of the whey, and dilute it with water to like a semi loose viscosity. Persian whey. – So what is this? – It’s essentially cooked down buttermilk. – Oh wow. – It’s very- – It’s intense. – Yeah. I know. – I love it. And you can just buy this in the? – At the Persian market. I’m sure like, some Arab stores have it too. It’s good, right? But you can make it with just yogurt and salt. Like, you cook yogurt down with a bunch of salt in it. – [Nancy] Why don’t we dilute it with milk, if we have it? – [Debbie] Oh okay, great, perfect. Should I grab some? – [Nancy] Yeah, I think Michael hid it in the very back. Is that a good amount? – [Debbie] Yeah, that’s a good amount. – Are you gonna leave me this as a gift? – [Debbie] Do you want it? – Yeah. – It’s all yours. – [Nancy] How long does it last for? – [Debbie] Years. – [Nancy] Well, I love it. – Milk. – Milk. – So when I make this, the traditional style, I use the liquid, the juices from the roasted eggplant to dilute that. – [Nancy] So you need this thinned, right? – [Debbie] Yeah, we want this thinned out. Yeah, I’m not gonna use water. I’m gonna use milk, perfect. – More flavor. – Yeah, a little thinner. – Okay, but we don’t want it to run. – No, no, no. – Okay, so just a tiny bit. Okay. ‘Cause also, I really- – This will also get a little thicker as it sits ’cause it’ll absorb. – Okay, I just love how thick it is. I don’t want to water it. – [Debbie] Okay. – [Nancy] Or milk it down. That’s beautiful, huh? – [Debbie] Yeah, right. And now onions. – That’s much better. – Yeah, way better. – A little bit of color, but still separate? – Yep. All right, look at that. That’s pretty. Okay, platter is ready. – Okay, I’m gonna take them out. Okay, so. They’re small, they’re not big. I use- – It looks beautiful. – Yeah, I mean it’s got nice color. Right? Ordinarily I cook the eggplant until it colors. And then I flip it over so that the backside gets all shriveled, like these are. But these, I don’t really have to turn them over. You know, this is the first time I’ve cooked eggplant in my oven at home. I just cook it every summer in Italy. So will you help me? – Of course. So now remember, we need enough surface area to garnish them with the onions. – Right, onions and all the other delicious stuff. – So we don’t want it to close. Right? So make sure. what I love about eggplant is that I think eggplant is as delicious cold, or room temperature, as it is hot. – [Debbie] And it’s great leftovers. I want the one with the stem for the outside. – [Nancy] Whenever I plate individually like this, I always love to look and pick my favorite. So let’s see if we have the same favorite. And kind of say all right, that’s my favorite. Well I’ll tell you right now. So far this guy’s my favorite. ‘Cause look at how he’s kind of- – [Debbie] Caramelized. – Just feel my favorite, this guy. But that guy I like. And I liked that guy too. You know why is it that- – [Debbie] It’s so pretty. – [Nancy] No, but why is it, no matter what, it’s always the perfect amount? You know, it’s like it just works. – See, that was a nice guy too. – He is good. And he fits perfectly. – He fits in. – He’s good. But you know what’s great about it? Is that it fills the platter. The platter doesn’t look skimpy. But it also doesn’t look over filled. – Let’s pour that over. – [Nancy] So you know, as long as the oven didn’t burn the oil and the residual eggplant, I like to pour it back on. And then, oh you know what? Grab some. – Maldon? – Maldon. Let’s season it while it’s still warm. Let’s season it with some flaky sea salt. – Beautiful. – All right, here I go. So, yeah. Now that’s delicious, huh? – Yep. – [Nancy] See the eggplant underneath, right? – Oh yeah. – Okay. – [Nancy] You don’t mind if I steal this idea? – [Debbie] Oh my God. Are you joking? It was someone else’s before it was mine. – Okay the whey. – [Debbie] Yeah, you whey and I’ll garlic. – [Nancy] I just want to check the consistency. I’m just, I’m not gonna do too much. Okay? And then you’re gonna, ’cause the garlic’s gonna spill over it. – [Debbie] What do you think? Should I go drizzle or per each? – [Nancy] I think it’s better just to do. Well, I don’t know. What do you think? – [Debbie] I think per each is an intent. – You know what’d be nice, Deb, if we have it leftover of this. Let’s serve it on the side in a small bowl. And then we won’t cover up how beautiful the onions are. We’ll have to encourage people to add more if they want. Sound good? – [Debbie] Yeah. – [Nancy] Okay, so I’m really not gonna overdo it. – [Debbie] Right, just a little bit. That looks great. – [Nancy] Perfect consistency, I think. It’s not running. – [Debbie] Yeah, totally. – [Nancy] Did I get it all? – That guy. And that little one. Sweet. – [Nancy] Okay, I’m gonna do the thyme. – [Debbie] Great. Beautiful. – [Nancy] This is such a nice tender thyme. – The thyme is gonna make it really great. I wish we could always entertain together. – You know what I have to say? You know what makes it pleasurable for me to entertain? – Tell me. – Is I just love having all the right- – Stuff. – Stuff to serve it in. To serve it with. It just makes it that much more enjoyable. And some of the things that we cooked with today are like stuff I haven’t touched for years, But all of a sudden – It woke up. – it was something I needed. – Yeah. – I used it. – [Nancy] I think we’re good. What do you think? Good? More? – I love it. – It’s beautiful, beautiful. Prettiness. Great. – Great. Now that’s definitely a- – [Debbie] Persian, Umbrianne. – [Nancy] dish, right? – [Debbie] Yeah.

About the Instructor

James Beard Award-winning chef, best-selling cookbook author, and the restaurateur behind Michelin-starred Mozza, Nancy Silverton takes viewers on a journey from her home in Panicale, Italy, to her home in Los Angeles. Viewers learn a range of Nancy’s renowned dishes, including her signature Caesar Salad, Chi Spacca Pepper Steak, 10+ vegetarian dishes, Mom’s Apple Pie, and more.

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