Oh eggplant. One of my oh so favorite veggies. I’m so sad that it gets a bad rap as being a “nightshade” veggie (meaning that it doesn’t need sunlight to grow). I still eat it all the time and love all the nutrients I get from it.
If you love eggplant as much as me, this caramelized eggplant shallot skillet will warm you up and fill your tummy with that familiar comforting feeling. It’s the ultimate comfort dish without the crazy calories.
Packed with fiber, minerals and antioxidants, you can’t go wrong by adding more eggplant to your diet. Some of my absolute favorite recipes on Balanced Babe showcase eggplant – take a peek for yourself.
The Healthiest Eggplant Recipes
This recipe, however, takes eggplant to a whole new level as I indulged a bit and used dairy free “I can’t believe it’s not butter” spread instead of regular butter. We all know that butter does indeed give recipes a different taste than olive oil or coconut oil.
I also learned something new recently – and that is the *proper* way to prepare and eggplant to cook it so that it creates a favorable texture. Who knew!
So the proper way is to “salt” the eggplant and here are the steps:
1: Slice the eggplant and place the slices on a towel
2: Sprinkle sea salt all over both sides of the slices
3: Let the eggplant sit on the towel for between 45-50 minutes
4: Wipe off or pat dry the eggplant slices (liquid will draw out from the slices)
5: And then prepare!
I was afraid to do this at first as I thought it would add unnecessary sodium, but the salt draws out the liquid in the eggplant that causes the bitter taste and prevents the eggplant from soaking up too much oil when being cooked. Neato.
Anyway, this is also the perfect weeknight recipe as all you really need to do is slice and dice the eggplant and shallots, then saute and simmer them together with warming spices. Easy as that!
Pan Roasted Caramelized Shallots & Eggplant
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 eggplants
- 3 garlic cloves, mashed and diced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- Vegan butter for sauteing (amount varies on your own personal preference)
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- Pink himalayan salt for preparing the eggplant
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the eggplant to cook as described above, and then dice into cubes.
- Heat up 1 tbsp of vegan butter in a skillet (preferrable cast iron skillet), dice the shallot and garlic, and place in the skillet and start cooking on medium heat.
- Sprinkle the sugar and a pinch of salt over the shallots and continue cooking until the shallots are evenly browned, then turn the heat down to low heat and continue cooking until they get very soft – between 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the shallots from the skillet and set aside.
- Add a bit more butter to the skillet, turn back up to medium heat, and add the diced eggplant to the skillet along with the basil and parsley, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue cooking the eggplant on medium heat until the pieces become tender, once tender, add back the shallot + garlic and cook on medium to low heat for about 15 minutes. Add vegan butter as needed for flavor and texture.
- Serve with dairy free sour cream as an entree or a warming side dish.