Crispy Cumin Potatoes with Eggplant Butter
Were you looking forward to that Thai coconut red curry recipe I boasted about? Yeah…well, sadly, as the okra sat the okra slime took over and I just couldn’t share it this week. The sauce was STUNNING, though, so I’ll be adjusting it just a tad (perhaps green beans instead?) and posting it in a few weeks. Kitchen adventures.
As a result, I was scratching my head over what to share with you as an alternative. Since my CSA bag was exploding with eggplant and potatoes, and it just so happened that Food52 posted a recipe for zucchini butter on the same day, I thought – why not make a play on that and do eggplant butter? Something soft and creamy and salty to go over crisped potatoes?
The cool thing about this dish is that you can either dump it in a bowl and eat it without any glamour or pizzazz (as I did the first night I made it), or you can turn it into a beautiful finger food for a party (check out those pictures). It tastes delicious either way, and it’s tremendously filling.
Food52’s recipe says you can use shallots or garlic in your butter. Personally, I love the subtle elegance of shallots and stuck with that. Feel free to adapt, based on what you have on hand.
The eggplant butter would be incredible on na’an, pita, or crusty bread, smeared on a sandwich with some roasted red peppers and artichokes, and as a baked potato topper. It is best served warm, in my opinion. Of course, a dash of pomegranate molasses wouldn’t hurt either (since eggplant always loves the bright notes of pomegranate).
Mmmmmm. So good.
- 2-3 pounds of potatoes (red, blue, or Yukon would be best), diced or sliced depending on how you want to present the final dish
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 medium purple eggplant, or 3 slender Chinese eggplant, diced
- 2 large shallots, skin removed, minced
- salt, to taste
- 1/3 cup EVOO OR Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
- 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- 2. Salt the diced, raw eggplant and set in a colander in the sink.
- 3. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the coconut oil, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
- 4. Spread the potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring and/or flipping once, until golden and crispy.
- 5. While the potatoes are roasting, heat the EVOO in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shallots and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the eggplant and remaining spices, stirring thoroughly.
- 6. Cover the pan and cook the eggplant 20-30 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Some of the eggplant will get stuck to the bottom of the pan. To deglaze, drizzle in a little water or a little more oil and stir well. If things begin to burn, turn down the heat. Once the eggplant is completely softened, including the skin, turn the heat off, and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.
- 7. Serve the potatoes with a hefty dollop of eggplant butter. If you have vegan sour cream or cashew sour cream, that would make a lovely addition to the final product.
- You could also make a breakfast wrap out of the potatoes and eggplant butter using a brown rice tortilla with some leftover tofu scramble. HOLY YUM!
- If you have leftover potatoes, they will soften in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat the leftovers, turn on your oven broiler and put the potatoes on a cookie sheet under the broiler for 4-5 minutes. They’ll crispy back up and be piping hot.
Cumin and garlic powder are in the spice aisle of your grocery store. Purple eggplants will probably be the most common kind of eggplant you’ll find. Go for a smallish-medium eggplant that is firm and doesn’t have any bruising. Cut the top off with the greens, and then simply dice finely. This doesn’t have to be perfect since it will cook down, but the smaller the dice, the faster it cooks.