I’m writing from a hotel in Orlando, where we’ve been waiting out hurricane Irma. Man did we dodge the bullet with this one. Our home is on a tiny island off the West Coast of Florida, and originally the storm’s projected path fell right over the island as a very powerful category 4. So powerful that we were getting ready to say goodbye to our house. Due to some extremely fortunate weather circumstances, our home only got hit with a category 1 storm and the island did not flood. There’s no power or cell reception, the streets are a mess, the bridge to the island has a large boat jammed against it, and everything is closed, but we still have a house! Hope everyone is staying as safe as possible this hurricane season.
This is an extra cozy, late summer meal that I made last week when we were trying to figure out exactly what to do as the hurricane was approaching. It’s great for weekdays and tastes amazing, even in times of total uncertainty :)
Eggplants are at their absolute tastiest right now, so this is a friendly reminder to take advantage of late summer produce while it’s abundant. There’s something about cutting eggplant into large wedges that makes it taste entirely different than roasted halves or whole roasted eggplant. That shape just speaks of comfort, sort of like huge oven fries. Here it’s sprinkled with za’atar and served with delicious and warming herbed pistachio millet, quick pickled onion, as well as a classic, creamy tahini sauce. Hope you’ll give this one a try!
P.S. We just heard that our power is back on, so I’m off to pack up and finally go home.
- half of a red onion - thinly sliced
- apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
- 1 cup millet - soaked in purified water w/ a splash of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon neutral coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1½ teaspoons turmeric
- sea salt - to taste
- 1 cup mixed chopped herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, mint
- ⅓ cup pistachios - chopped
- 2 medium eggplants - sliced into wedges
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon sriracha (optional)
- pinch of sea salt
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup purified water
- Place the sliced onion in a small bowl and generously drizzle it with apple cider vinegar. Add the coconut sugar, if using, and toss to coat. Let marinate while cooking the millet and roasting the eggplants.
- Drain the millet and thoroughly rinse it in a strainer.
- Warm the oil over medium heat in a medium pot, add cumin seeds and toast for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add turmeric and stir it around for a minute. Add the millet and toast, stirring, for a few minutes.
- Add 2 cups of purified water and salt. Increase the heat to a medium high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the millet for 15-20 minutes, covered, but stirring occasionally. Let the millet cool a bit and stir in the herbs and pistachios.
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Prepare a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
- Place the eggplant on a the baking sheet. Drizzle with the coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix to coat.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the wedges and roast for another 15 minutes until soft and golden on both sides. Let cool a bit and sprinkle with za'atar when serving.
- Combine the tahini, maple syrup, sriracha (if using), salt and lemon juice in a small bowl, mix until smooth. Add water gradually, while mixing, until you achieve a smooth sauce consistency.