I love this time of year. It must be the colors, the subtle light and the sudden change in temperature. Regardless of the reason(s), it is a time to reflect on the bounty of great seasonal vegetables served up by local farmers at our market.
What I like about this particular recipe are the bold contrasting colors of peppers and eggplant and the acid provided by the wine vinegar. Needless to say, we add our own Gourmet Living extra virgin olive oil to add that “Mediterranean touch,” but quite frankly, this is a wonderful recipe.
Spiced Pepper and Eggplant
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
- Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- 4 sweet peppers, any color (about 1 pound), cut into 2″ strips
- 2 baby eggplants (about 1/2 pound), quartered lengthwise, or 1/2 large eggplant, cut into 2×1″ pieces
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, and saffron, if using; cook, stirring often, until garlic is softened, about 4 minutes. Add sweet peppers and eggplants; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add vinegar. Just before serving, add basil and toss to combine.
- DO AHEAD: Vegetables can be cooked 4 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before adding basil and serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
For those experimenting with finding the best extra virgin olive oil, consider buying Gourmet Living’s THREE PACK of EVOO on Amazon. It consists of three 500 ml bottles of a California Picual, a classical blend from Tuscany, Italy and a delicious Arbequina from Penedes, Spain.
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