When eggplant really breaks down and gets a depth of flavor form being cooked for a long time and loved with salt and spices, I begin to swoon. The eggplant turns almost to a mush which blankets the other components of the meal. Everything becomes creamy and delightful.
This meal plays upon not only the comfort of the eggplant, but also the softness of spinach, the chewiness of cannellini beans, and the warmth of curry spices. Similar to a saag, or the eggplant potato with lentils dish, the meal is like a long hug, scooped into a bowl.
Another reason to love eggplant -- it's got some pretty amazing health benefits. It's loaded with various antioxidants, aka cancer scavengers. The nice cancer preventing goodies are especially concentrated in the skin. You'll get a good dose of B vitamins and potassium, too. Eggplant has also been shown to reduce cholesterol.
Eggplant Spinach Curry with Cannellini Beans
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 medium sized eggplant, chopped
- 1/2 lb. of fresh or frozen spinach
- 1 cup of cooked cannellini beans garbanzo beans would be lovely here, too
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli or other vegetables
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce, optional
In a large stir-fry pan or saucier pan with a lid, get that olive oil warmed up and almost sizzling on medium heat. Add in the chopped onions, trying not to cry. Give things a stir now and then, preferably with a wooden spatula. When the onions are soft and translucent, add in 1/4 cup of water, salt, and the eggplant. Cover, and lower the heat to medium-low for about 15 minutes, or until the eggplant has reduced to a smooth and lovely texture. You may need to check up on the eggplant every once in a while to add more water. Next, pour in the cannellini beans and spinach, along with 1 cup of water, covering again for another 15 minutes or until the spinach has reached a lacy silkiness. Add in your other vegetables, and coat everything with the spices. Let the meal cook for another 10 minutes to let the flavors come together and the veggies to absorb the water. Taste and add more spices if you desire. Serve in a bowl and eat with a spoon for maximum comfort. Serves 2-3.