Bon Appétit (August 2015)
Egg and eggplant. There's something about that pairing that strikes us as funny, but also a bit revolutionary. Egg. Eggplant. How have we never before put those together in a dish?
Well, our long national nightmare is over. Because this dish pairs eggs and eggplant -- and it's delicious.
We love the idea of fresh hot sauce. So clever! And it's really easy to make. We couldn't find Fresno chiles, so we subbed in jalapeños. The red Fresnos would have made more a more colorful dish, but the jalapeños worked fine. The rest of the prep is super easy.
The flavors are really fantastic. The cilantro and dill give a one-two punch of freshness, while the sunny, slightly runny eggs bring a nice rich heft. The eggplant is smoky, with a great char from the grill. (A stovetop grill pan would work fine here if you don't have an outdoor grill.) And the fresh hot sauce is excellent -- sharp, spicy and piquant.
If we had a slight tweak for this, it's that we could have stood more heat along with a little funk. Next time we make this -- and we definitely will -- we might make more of the hot sauce, or amp up the vinegar, or possibly even throw in a little fish sauce, which would be great here for a little earthy, funky umami.
But this is already a marvelous vegetarian main dish.
Eggs + eggplant. We're sold.
NOTE FROM ZACH & CLAY: This says it serves 4, but if you plan on serving this as a main dish, we'd suggest 4 eggs instead of 2. (Who is satisfied with half an egg?)
Active time: 30 mins | Total time: 30 mins
2 Fresno chiles, with seeds, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
4 Japanese eggplants (about 1¼ pounds total), halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
¼ cup chopped fresh dill, divided
2 large eggs
Prepare grill for medium heat (or heat a grill pan over medium). Toss chiles, garlic, and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let sit until just softened, 8–10 minutes. Stir vinegar and honey into hot sauce.
Meanwhile, drizzle eggplants with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender, 6–8 minutes. Cut on a diagonal into thick slices; toss in a large bowl with scallions and half of hot sauce, cilantro, and dill. Transfer to a platter.
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add eggs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, rotating skillet occasionally, until whites are golden and crisp at the edges and set around the yolk (which should be runny), about 2 minutes. Flip and cook just until yolks begin to set, about 30 seconds. Cut eggs into strips; arrange over eggplants. Drizzle with remaining hot sauce; top with remaining cilantro and dill.