Spiced Eggplant and Tomatoes With Runny Eggs
A little like an eggplant version of shakshuka, this velvety skillet meal features sautéed eggplant and tomatoes seasoned with garlic, spices and lemon zest. It’s topped with runny eggs and a crunchy garnish of toasted nuts. The yogurt and hot sauce simultaneously heat things up and cool things down, and really add a lot to this hearty, meltingly soft dish. Serve it for brunch or dinner, with a crisp green salad and some flatbread on the side.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½pounds Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
- ⅓cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 1 ¼teaspoons baharat blend (or use another spice blend, such as garam masala)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ½tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- ½teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3fat garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed or minced
- 2cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 1 pound)
- ¾cup chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, dill or any combination, plus more for garnish
- 4to 6 large eggs
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Plain whole-milk yogurt, for serving
- Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), for serving
Step 1Put eggplant in a colander in the sink and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let drain while preparing the nuts.
Step 2In a small bowl, combine nuts, 1/4 teaspoon baharat and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nut mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and toasted, 2 minutes. Pour nuts back into the small bowl and stir in lemon zest. Set aside for serving.
Step 3Add 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high until oil thins out, about 20 seconds. Add enough of the eggplant to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook eggplant until browned, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggplant to a plate. Repeat with more oil and eggplant, taking care not to crowd the pan.
Step 4When all the eggplant is browned, push the last batch still in the pan to one side. Drizzle the empty part of the pan with a tiny bit of oil and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the rest of the browned eggplant back to the pan and stir well to incorporate garlic.
Step 5Add tomatoes and remaining baharat, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and eggplant become stewy, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in herbs. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Step 6Make small hollows into the stewed eggplant with the back of a spoon. Gently crack an egg into each hollow. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or piece of foil and cook on medium-low until the eggs are just set, but still soft, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the lid, and garnish with the spiced nuts, more herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with yogurt, hot sauce and more lemon wedges on the side.