Recipe: Eggplant with Coconut, Mint, and Pistachio
The combination of crunchy pistachios, nutty coconut, and spicy cardamom, brightened up by fresh mint, provide a wonderful punch of flavors. As simple as it is delicious, the thin slices of eggplant create shell-like structure, turning each into a bite-sized treat.
Serves 8, with some coconut mint topping left over*
- 1 globe eggplant of fairly uniform thickness, unpeeled, sliced between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
- 2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (unsweetened) desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drizzle the eggplant slices evenly on both sides with the olive oil, rubbing in with your fingers. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until nearly cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the topping: In a food processor, combine the coconut, pistachios, cardamom, mint, and a scant 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse about 10 times, or until finely ground.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Flip the eggplant slices and sprinkle evenly with the topping. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the topping is lightly golden. Serve.
* Any leftover topping may be stored for up to one week in an airtight container.