World’s Cutest Eggplants become Persian Eggplant Stew

Yeah, most of these striped little nightshade dream boats were smaller than my fingers.

World's Cutest Eggplants, from the Shemansky Farmers Market

Persian Eggplant Stew, topped with pine nuts and served over basmati rice

This was a multi-step roasted stew. I loosely used the recipe in Veganomicon as a guide. When doesn’t that happen?

First, I trimmed the tops off the unpeeled, mini eggplant wonders and sliced them in half, length-wise.  This was roasted in a glass 9×13 casserole dish at 450F with coarse sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a little olive oil for 15 minutes. I then added sliced yellow and green summer squash along with 4 cloves of minced garlic,  and roasted an additional 10-15 minutes.  Removed the casserole dish from the oven, added 28 oz. of canned & peeled tomatoes, chickpeas, various spices (saffron, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, oregano, onion powder, thyme – need I go on?), fresh lemon juice, and cooked an additional 20 minutes.  The dish was topped with pine nuts during the final minutes of roastin’

The produce in this dish was entirely local, and the remainder of the ingredients were primarily from the International Food Supply, next to Ya Hala. Fun fact: They have Cheerwine and a nice selection of international and American sodas.

Remind me to sub this aromatic, roasted stew into my never-ending cycle of minestrone and pasta e faglioli during the rainy season…

And even though it’s actually a roasted dish, numerous online resources agree that yes, I can call it a stew.

Product Review: Dominex Eggplant Cutlets

Eggplant Cutlets, Red Wine Marinara, Lightly steamed Kale, Garlic Bread
Dominex

My experience with the Dominex Eggplant Cutlets featured delightful surprise after delightful surprise.

  • The first surprise was the initial email – I’m always intrigued when companies offer to send me something!!
  • The second was from recommendations.  I posted a photo on flickr and received an immediate recommendation and as I was checking out at New Seasons, both the cashier and woman in line behind me raved about them!  My curiosity rose.
  • The third delight was the product itself  - and my suspicion that the little bit of cheese pictured on the box below could pass for semi-melting vegan mozzarella…

Product Review Coming.

When Dominex, “The Eggplant People”, contacted me about sampling some of their products, I thought they were crazy.  Rather, I thought I was crazy agreeing to this, and frankly, didn’t have much hope that I’d enjoy this product.

Why?

1) It’s frozen and I’m often irrationally creeped out by frozen foods that aren’t tator tots.

2) It’s frozen, breaded eggplant – my Italian heart was pounding in fear.

3) Half of their products are vegan, half are vegetarian – and I was curious if the vegan products would live up to the exciting packaging of their vegetarian Parm Bites.

However, I was curious, enjoy a challenge & complimentary, additions to my budget – especially when they’re mass marketed as a vegan natural foods product!

Verdict: I’d buy it again, and I already have!

I liked the Dominex Eggplant Cutlets so much, I’ve already bought them again.  I’m sorry this is sounding like an infomercial, I truly get this excited about things.

Last night, I found the current $2.99/box sale at New Seasons irresistible (normally $4.99, I believe).  I’ve reviewed a lot of products, both complimentary and out-of-pocket, and this is up there with the best of the best.

Dominex also makes vegan Eggplant burgers, but I passed because I’m so delighted with these.   Plus, the novelty of an entire eggplant’s worth of cutlets in one box tops a box of 4 eggplant veggie burgers (that granted, I’ve yet to try, but packaging wise..)

The slices are breaded thicker than I’d do at home, but I can’t complain because they’re fantastic.

Crispy and golden on the outside, require little to no additional oil (if cooked on parchment paper) baked in the oven, and the insides are soft eggplant goodness.  Turn on the oven, pull out a few cutlets, throw together a side or two, and you have a nice, quick dinner.

Note: I have found I like them cooked upwards 20 minutes vs. the 12-15 advised.  Those few minutes aside, these remain an easy, convenient dinner treat I had no idea I ever wanted in my freezer before, and now I stand corrected.  They’ve saved my life (slight exaggeration) after coming home to an empty fridge after a trip more than once!

In Portland? They’re sold at New Seasons and Food Fight!