Aioli and Eggplant

I think I’m getting back in my groove. I haven’t had slow roasted sweet potatoes in two days!!

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I actually had something completely different that included a mini giveaway planned for today – but then I had to tackle some eggplant in the fridge.

See, I’m nearing eggplant burnout. My mom buys me eggplant every time she goes to the store. I’m not complaining – I mean, it’s really very sweet of her. But eggplant isn’t very forgiving of being forgotten about. There’s a fragile couple of days between the time an eggplant is purchased and the time you use it. And then it turns all soft, mushy, bruised and ugly.

Naturally, this creates an added bit of pressure for me to use it quickly…and as someone who’s getting rather sick of eggplant, I am not as enthusiastic about using it right off the bat, and I’m not about to start groveling at my mother’s feet, begging her for the love of all that is sacred to stop buying me eggplant. That’d just appear ungrateful.

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My heart almost stopped as I heard she was going grocery shopping today and I still had half an eggplant in my fridge from a week ago. I could only imagine being bombarded with another eggplant. Luckily, she didn’t.

I almost decided that I was going to make my first-ever baba ghanoush, but after a little bit of dwelling decided I was in the mood for pasta, and so eggplant “parm” won me over.

With white bean aioli “meatballs.”

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Why? Well, I was out of hummus…and wanted to make hummus…but then saw a V-Con recipe for white bean aioli. Okay. So then I wanted chickpea balls of sorts. And was too lazy for both. So I still did both…but the lazy girl’s way. Are you following this?

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I definitely had a driver error with the breadcrumbs. The crackers got nice and crumby, but I should have processed the bread longer. It was a bit chunky, and as such, didn’t stick as well.

Between that and the fact that my skillet is warped and all the oil went to the bottom left corner, my “frying of the eggplant” was a bit of a still-delicious fail.

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Whatever. All that matters is how good it still tasted. I love the aioli. And the aioli balls. And the final eggplant product. And…everything.

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Note: I have refused to make my own hummus because I am 100% committed to Cedar’s. I know I’ll never be able to produce something so creamy and flavorful, so I don’t try. I figured making aioli was a good almost-hummus. I don’t keep tahini around, anyway.

White Bean Aioli

Adapted from Veganomicon

  • 1 can small white beans, drained
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
  • 2 T. sundried tomato pesto (I like Bella Sun Luci)
  • 2 T. basil oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil and pesto and then add in the garlic, lightly browning it. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine beans, lemon juice, sea salt and peppers. Blend until smooth. Add in the oil, pesto and garlic. Blend until smooth.

White Bean Aioli Balls

  • 1/3 c. white bean aioli
  • 3 T. breadcrumbs (I used home-made that were rather course)
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1/8 c. diced scallion

Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls by the tablespoon and bake at 350* for 35 minutes on a sprayed baking sheet. They should be browned on the bottom.

This recipe only makes about 6 -  but could easily be doubled. I just wasn’t sure if it would work!

Breaded Eggplant

  • 1/3 c. Kashi Fire-Roasted Veggie Crackers
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/2 of a large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2” thick rounds
  • salt
  • 1 T. flax + 3 T. warm water
  • 1 T. olive oil

Place the eggplant on a paper towel or strainer and sprinkle with salt. Set aside and prepare breadcrumbs: blend crackers and toasted bread until very fine.

In a small bowl, stir together flax and water.

Begin heating olive oil in nonstick pan. Dip eggplant slices first in flax egg, then in breadcrumbs. Fry in olive oil and repeat until all the slices are browed on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes at 350*

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Uh-yuhm.

Do you make your own hummus or buy it?

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25 Comments

Filed under dinner, recipe, vegan

25 responses to “Aioli and Eggplant

  1. Ooh, that meal looks so fresh and pretty! I buy my hummus. I’m a lazy college kid 🙂

  2. I turned a blind eye at the sentence: ‘I don’t keep tahini around, anyway.’ Haha.

    I rarely eat eggplant. Whenever I make it.. I think I like it after the first bite and then by the end of the meal I am barely choking it down. I put it in lasagne once and that was nice, but that’s because it didn’t taste like eggplant 😛

    As for hummus, I always buy it. I could make it I guess, but I already go through cans of chickpeas like wildfire. The brand I get is really good, so I don’t see much ‘room for improvement’ anyway.

  3. As soon as I started reading, I thought ‘she should make baba!’ I guess great minds think alike ; )

    I don’t eat hummus nearly as often as I used to, so I’ve been buying it. I’m very picky about my brand though – Tribe all the way!

  4. I make my own. It’s sad that I have to make it and then freeze it so I’m not making it all of the time – the texture becomes sacrificed for convenience, but I know that I can make hummus so I refuse to buy it. Same for crackers now. I love AkMaks and these other thin rye krisp things from Norway, but now that I can make tasty, flavorful crackers (and granola, and nut butters, and bread and veggie burgers, and vegetable stock, etc.) I find it silly to buy it.

    I’m so envious that you have time and space to cook things like that. I thought eggplant was out of season too. I wish I could get some around here but then I don’t have any place to put it, etc.

    Oh, and you should definitely make some baba ganoush if you have extra and you’re not willing to make your own hummus. The baba ganoush is really easy to make smooth and creamy!! And don’t forget about FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Eggplant Pesto I mentioned a while back – you can use some of that sundried tomato pesto in the mix for the sundried tomatoes that the recipe calls for! 😉

  5. I always have tahini and garbanzo beans on hand–hummus is so easy to make. The same with pesto–in fact, just made some today. The great thing about both is that you can easily change them up by adding roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives. . .Plus, it’s cheaper and healthier than store bought–I think! 🙂
    The breaded eggplant looks amazing–great idea!

  6. That looks like the best Italian meal ever!!

    I’m guilty – I buy my hummus. I went through a phase where I made it, but it never tastes as good!

  7. I’ve never attempted making my own hummus. I don’t think it’s that hard, it’s just one of those things I’ve decided to skip a step with… 🙂

  8. That dinner looks fabulous – i adore eggplant and white beans!!!!! Eggplant with pasta is one of my favorite fall dinners. I eat hummus regularly so usually i just buy it – one of my favorites is a Mediterranean medley flavor that i buy at my local store !!!

  9. I buy hOmmus (that’s how it’s spelled on the container ;)) — which is basically just chickpea puree, since I abhor sesame seeds with a passion, which means I can’t stand tehini. So, yeah, I could make it myself. But I’m lazy.

    Eggplant goes bad quickly?? I once found one that I’d forgotten about for at LEAST two weeks, and it was just fine. Weird.

    ❤ ❤

  10. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    Awesome meal! I like how it’s “semi-homemade” (in a good way). I haven’t had those Kashi fire roasted crackers in forever. I bet they worked great in this flavor-wise.

  11. I don’t think I could ever get sick of eggplant. I used to have to save it for when I was home because it was too expensive for my budget but lately it’s been CHEAP and had been a staple in the kitchen ever since. I usually have it simply sauteed but the breaded version looks so delicious! Kind of like eggplant parm but without every other ingredient..ok, so it’s not really like eggplant parm, but you know. 😛

  12. this looks really yummy! love those little ‘meat’balls.
    i have tried making hummus and failed, so i usually buy it 🙂 i like tribe.

  13. Yum! Everything looks great. I want to try the “meat”balls and aioli. I’m not a big eggplant fan. I make my own hummus almost every week but occasionally I will get store bought if there is an interesting flavor.

  14. teenagehealthfreak

    looks so fancy, and delish. i’ve never had aioli or eggplant parmasan!!!! i make my own humus most of the time..and it’s more like bean pasty spread..b/c i don’t keep my tahinni on had either, and it’s most definatly not the same as when you buy it but i add a roasted red pepper or cilantro, which gives it flavor at least.

  15. wow how your dinner looks awesome!
    I make my own hummus, ’cause you can’t buy it over here, of course. But I don’t mind, mine tastes better anyways 😀

  16. oohh that looks like the best meal ever! 3 faahbulous components – somewhat jealous here!
    I’ve made my own hummus a couple of times, but I swear it’s never as good as store-bought, which reaaally grinds my gears!! Meh.

  17. I’ve only made my own hummus a handful of times, but even though I typically buy it, you must know that the black olive-sundried tomato hummus in EDBV is AMAZING. My brother ate probably 3/4 of it in one sitting, and he’s allergic to health food. You have to try it!!

  18. This looks fantastic, especially those bean balls! I never seem to cook eggplant quite right though, so I’m always iffy about using it. Do you salt yours first?

    I buy my own hummus. I don’t have a food processor at my apartment at school! 😦

  19. Everything looks amazing! I spent way too many hours in the kitchen yesterday doing a Thanksgiving meal that was good, but anti-climactic. With Jay being sick and Tony working…ugh, not a good day. Anyway, I make my own hummus. I eat so much of it and am too cheap to buy it.

  20. Ashlei

    Definitely make my own hummus! Much better that way and I can tweak it to my liking. I want to try some black bean hummus next 🙂

  21. This looks great! Sadly, I don’t like hummus, but I think it’s so great when people make things homemade. It always add that special touch 🙂

  22. Wowieee..this meal looks so tasty!! You have totally inspired me yet AGAIN for dinner so a huge massive big thankyou lovely!! I know how you feel about eggplant though, it is easily forgotten about for some reason and then when it goes old and ugly it’s so frustrating! That’s why I like squash actually, because you can keep it for ages…not that it takes me long to eat it hehe!
    As for hummus, I have occasionally made my own curry hummus because you can’t buy it here but otherwise I confess that I do normally buy it because the texture just isn’t the same…I wonder what their secret is?! xxx

  23. Adding this to the list of things I need to make ASAP.

    Seriously, you need to make your own humuus. It is SO much better. Please try. I promise you’ll fall in love.

  24. Pingback: Tzimmes and a Winner | Healthy Exposures

  25. this looks divine! Thanks for sharing the recipe since I am without my v’con for the time being!

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