Necessity is the mother of invention, and mothers face a lot of necessities. The necessity I faced today was the bag of eggplants I bought the other day, which I needed to use up before they went all squishy. I also had some black beans left over from the batch of Hidden Bean Brownies (known in my house as Hidden Brown Beanies) that I cooked for today’s afternoon tea at my kids’ school. So… my Yummy Eggplant Thingy recipe was born. (A ‘thingy’, by the way, is my highly technical term for the dinners that I chuck together from whatever is in the fridge that needs to be used up.)
To make your own Yummy Eggplant Thingies you’ll need:
eggplants – 1 for every 2 people you’re feeding
1 medium brown onion
1 clove garlic
1 small chilli or a pinch of dried chilli – optional
1 small red capsicum
1 cup cooked beans and/or lentils – I used about 1/4 cup black beans and 3/4 cup black beluga lentils, which I am mad for at the moment; dark beans look particularly good in this dish
4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons no-added-salt tomato paste
And for the sauce:
100 g cashews
180 ml water
1 tsp onion flakes
Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1 cm slices. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, and bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes, then flip over and bake the other side for 10-15 minutes. The slices should be soft when cooked. Most cookery writers say you need to brush eggplant with oil but I find this totally unnecessary, as long as you don’t overcook it.
While the eggplant slices are baking, chop the onion and mince the garlic and chilli (I threw mine in the Thermomix for 4 seconds at speed 5), then add 100 ml of water and cook on medium heat for minutes (or 5 minutes at 100 degrees in Thermi). Add chopped capsicum (or chuck in Thermi and chop for 3 seconds at speed 5) and cook for another 3 minutes.
Now stir in the beans or lentils, tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes. I blitzed it in Thermi at speed 7 for a few seconds, but you could take to it with a potato masher instead.
By now your eggplant slices should be ready. If the slices are large enough, you can dollop the bean filling onto a slice and roll it up like a crepe. Mine were too small to roll so I just put the filling on 1 slice and topped with a second, like a sandwich.
To make the cashew sauce, grind the cashews to a powder (20 seconds at speed 9 in Thermi), then add the water and onion flakes and blend until smooth. I cooked mine for 3 minutes at 90 deg, on speed 6, with the measuring cup off. Non-Thermomix owners can transfer the misture to a saucepan and simmer over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Pour sauce over eggplant.
We had this with steamed corn on the cob, broccoli and zucchini.
Hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!
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