By Dina Altieri, M.S. Ed., CEC, CCE, CHE
~2 tablespoons olive oil
6 each baby eggplant
1 each sweet potato
24-28 florets broccoli
24-28 each pear tomatoes or other small variety
as needed salt and pepper
1 teaspoon black mustard seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 each small yellow onion
1 tablespoon turmeric
pinch chili powder, hot
~14 oz. canned diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
~14 oz. light coconut milk
as needed cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 375 (convection oven)-400 (still oven) degrees.
- Wash all vegetables prior to preparation.
- Remove stems and cut baby eggplant in half. On flesh-side, make three or four shallow slices /score-marks.
- Peel and large-dice sweet potato.
- Remove medium-sized florets from head of broccoli.
- Peel and large-dice yellow onion.
- Pre-heat stainless steel or cast iron sauté pan over medium-high heat and add small drizzle of olive oil. Add eggplant, flesh-side down and sear until caramelized to a light brown color. Season flesh-side with coarse salt and put flesh-side down (will continue to develop to rich brown color) onto one third of foil-wrapped sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Make room on sheet pan for broccoli and sweet potatoes.
- Using same pan, caramelize diced potatoes in olive oil and put onto foil-wrapped sheet pan alongside eggplant.
- Toss broccoli florets in small amount of olive oil and put onto the foil-wrapped sheet pan with eggplant and potatoes. Season all of the vegetables with coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Put pan in oven and roast vegetables until tender and caramelized. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir or shuffle the pan once or twice during cooking. Flip eggplant once flesh turns deep brown.
- Using same sauté pan from step #8, blister tomatoes in olive oil until skin begins to crack and color is speckled brown. Season with coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Leave in the pan. Just before ready to serve entire dish, place the sauté pan into the oven and cook for 5 additional minutes, but not until softened through. See step #16.
- For the tomato-coconut curry sauce: Preheat medium-large saucepan (with plenty of surface-area) on medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Once oil begins to shimmer, add black mustard seeds. Swirl in pan until mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add cumin seeds and stir for a few moments. Add diced onion and turn heat down to medium-low while slowly cooking onions throughout, approximately five minutes. Add turmeric and chili and continue stirring for a few minutes until the spices warm and become aromatic.
- Add canned diced fire roasted tomatoes to pan. Fill half of the can with water, swirl to capture any tomato remaining in can and add to pan. Reduce for five minutes. Sauce should be simmering, not boiling.
- Add coconut milk and reduce another five minutes until sauce begins to thicken slightly. Season gently with coarse salt as sauce may reduce a bit more before its ready. Can adjust with additional chili for more heat.
- Remove vegetables from oven and place sweet potatoes into tomato-coconut curry sauce. Simmer curry on low with potatoes for five minutes. From step #12, warm tomatoes in oven by placing sauté pan into oven while potatoes simmer in the sauce.
- Place approximately four ounces of sauce and several pieces of potato into each bowl.
- Place eggplant, broccoli and tomatoes in a circular pattern on top of sauce mixture. Each plate will get three pieces of eggplant, six-seven pieces of broccoli and six-seven tomatoes.
- Garnish with fresh leaves of cilantro.
- Can be served with grilled/toasted naan bread and/or brown rice.