From time to time, one needs to “cook the pantry/fridge”. Things accumulate and are pushed to the back. So being in self-isolation, now and again, one needs to look deeply into the crevices that things slide into…like that box of partially used, dry falafel mix. It’s a challenge to use things in new and creative ways. That’s how this eggplant dish came to be. I have a love-hate relationship with moving. I hate the packing up, but I look forward to the new experience. Moving has served us well. We’ve met some wonderful people along the way, some of who stop by this blog now and again. We have been blessed. And when we moved with children, it instilled in them a sense of adventure and the idea that change is good. They don’t fear it. And that’s a very, very good thing. Change will happen, regardless. Embrace it. In the long run, it will be good.
As you know, The Goddess has that lazy streak that rear its ugly head from time to time. So, I make falafel with a mix. There. I said it out loud. I do add a few little “improvements”. But, I love to use the mix to coat fish, like I did with the Falafel Coated Snapper. It’s yummy stuff. Anyway, I bought some Asian eggplant and had just a bit of the mix left and God forbid that I would just simply pitch it out. Normal people do that. The Goddess detests wasting things. I think it comes from having parents who experienced the Great Depression. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it!
This went together quickly and simply, which might explain why I don’t have any pictures of the finished dish. I’m chalking it up to post-garden fatigue. Let’s go with that, okay? Anyway, as I said, it was pretty simple to prepare.
I cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, then across into about 1-inch pieces. I decided to coat the eggplant pieces with a bit of olive oil, then the falafel mix. I pan-fried them with just a bit of additional oil and at the very end, a nice drizzle of pomegranate molasses, which honestly, was an afterthought. It turned out to be a good thought. I’m happy to report, this is a keeper. Don’t you just love when that happens?
This was a nice blend of textures.
Some surfaces were crispy and others we softer and almost creamy. I liked it. Also, as you can see from the pictures that I do have, this is a very, very light coating. Again, I liked that, too. It didn’t overpower the eggplant, but worked in unison with it…almost Zen-like. This will be nice served with grilled lamb chops, fish or chicken.
Falafel-Coated Eggplant with Pomegranate Molasses Drizzle
- 2 Asian eggplants
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2-3 tablespoons dry falafel mix
- 2 large pinches kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted whole cumin seeds, crushed between your fingers
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or to taste)
- 1-2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro or mint
Cut the ends from the eggplant. Slice lengthwise, then cut crosswise into about 1-inch pieces. Place in a skillet, drizzle with half the oil; toss. Sprinkle the falafel mix over the eggplant pieces; sprinkle with kosher salt, the cumin and the paprika. Toss until well coated. Place the pan over high heat. When you hear the sizzle, lower the heat to medium-low. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is tender and crispy. Don’t move the eggplant too frequently, or it won’t brown and crisp up properly. Remove from the heat, dump the pieces into a serving dish, drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
Falafel-Coated Eggplant with Pomegranate Molasses Drizzle Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.
Turns out this is pretty decent as an appetizer, too.