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Spicy Chipotle Eggplant With Black Beans

Spicy Chipotle Eggplant With Black Beans 6.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian May 13, 2015

This is a complex, satisfying combination of thickly sliced eggplant, coated in spicy-sweet salsa negra before roasting, and smooth pureed black beans.

You'll have much more salsa negra than you need for this recipe, but it makes a great condiment for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, tortas and more.

Serve as a first course as is, or as a light dinner with the addition of a salad, tortillas and/or rice.

Make Ahead: The salsa negra can be refrigerated for several weeks. The pureed black beans can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months. The roasted eggplant can be refrigerated for 5 days; reheat before serving.


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: 6 servings

  • For the salsa negra
  • Two 7-ounce cans chipotle chilies in adobo, including sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup balsamic or sweet sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • For the eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 2 pounds eggplant, preferably Asian or other small variety
  • 2 cups home-cooked or canned black beans, with enough broth or can liquid to cover (see NOTE)
  • A few tablespoons of crumbled Mexican queso fresco (may substitute other fresh cheese, such as feta or goat cheese)
  • Handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema, crème fraîche or sour cream (may substitute Greek-style yogurt that has been thinned with a little milk)


For the salsa negra: Combine the chipotle chilies and their sauce, the molasses, balsamic or sweet sherry vinegar, brown sugar and water in a blender; puree until smooth. Scrape into a small saucepan set over medium heat; once the mixture is bubbling briskly, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced slightly and is the consistency of runny ketchup, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat; stir in the soy sauce. If necessary, add some water, a splash at a time, to thin the salsa. Let it cool. The yield is 2 cups.

For the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a little oil to grease a rimmed baking sheet. Trim the stem end from the eggplants; cut the flesh into rounds about 1/2-inch thick. (If any are larger than a couple of inches in diameter, cut them into half-moons.) Scoop them into a bowl, drizzle them with the oil and about 6 tablespoons of the salsa negra, toss to coat evenly, then spread on the baking sheet. Roast, using a metal spatula to turn them periodically, until the slices are beginning to brown and are soft throughout, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, measure the beans and their liquid into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, adding a little more bean broth, can liquid or water, if necessary, to get them to move through the blades. Scrape into a small (1-to-2-quart) saucepan and stir in enough bean broth or can liquid (may substitute water) to give the puree the consistency of a cream soup, usually about 1/4 cup. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the salsa negra and warm over medium-low heat. You should have 3 cups of bean sauce.

When the eggplant is ready, spoon some of the warm sauce on each dinner plate, to create a base for the other components. Top with a portion of eggplant. Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro; add dollops of crema or crème fraîche, and you're ready to eat.

NOTE: If you're using canned beans, you'll need two 15-ounce cans, though you'll have some left over to, say, scramble into some eggs; use all the liquid in the cans, but be aware that bean sauce made from canned beans won't be as dark as sauce from home-cooked beans.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "More Mexican Everyday," by Rick Bayless (W.W. Norton, 2015).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using crema): 250

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 30mg 10%

Sodium: 380mg 16%

Total Carbohydrates: 28g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 11g 44%

Sugar: 10g

Protein: 7g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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