Eggplant and Brussels Sprouts in Cilantro Sauce 2.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dec 11, 2013

One of the keys to this recipe is to embrace the char. The eggplant, in particular, needs to be essentially blackened in a hot pan, which steams the interior flesh to a lush consistency. Don't be tempted to add oil to the pan; the eggplant, serrano pepper and Brussels sprouts should all be charred in a dry pan.

The dish has a fair amount of heat; use only half of the serrano pepper, if desired.

If you use cast-iron for these oil-less charring duties, you will probably need to re-season your pan afterward. Be sure to turn on the stove's exhaust fan during the charring.


Servings:
2

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

Ingredients
  • 12 Brussels sprouts
  • 1 serrano chili pepper (see headnote)
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves (from 1 bunch), packed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 medium shiny purple eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt

Directions

Use a paring knife to carefully remove the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts; reserve them in a bowl. (The leftover cores can be discarded or reserved for another use.)

Heat a dry cast-iron pan over high heat. Add the serrano and char until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Discard the blackened skin and seeds of the pepper. (For less heat in the dish, discard the pepper’s interior ribs as well.) Add the stripped serrano and the cilantro leaves to a food processor or blender, along with the mustard, water and vinegars. Pulse to form a smooth puree, adding small amounts of water as needed to achieve the right consistency. The yield is about 1/2 cup.

Heat the same dry pan you used to char the serrano over high heat. Add the eggplants and char on all sides; this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer them to a plate to cool. Add the Brussels sprout leaves to the (hot) pan and char them only slightly, transferring them to a plate after a few black marks appear. They will brighten slightly in color.

Ladle half of the cilantro sauce into a shallow serving bowl. Slice open 1 eggplant, scoop out its flesh and seeds and place them atop the sauce; discard the skins. Garnish with half of the Brussels sprout leaves, then season lightly with salt. Repeat for the remaining portion. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

From Rene Redzepi, chef-owner of Noma in Copenhagen.

Tested by Tim Carman.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.