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Eggplant with Cashew Butter and Pickled Peppers

This recipe is from the Drifters Wife in Portland, ME. It was recommended to me from a friend who said, “this is the absolute best sauce for roasted vegetables!” And, if you know anything from my previous recipes, I ❤️ roasted veggies. So, I thought I’d give this one a try and oh my, it’s good. It’s not just good, it’s amazing!

Ingredients

Pickled Peppers

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 mini bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 mixed chiles (such as serrano, Fresno, and/or jalapeño), thinly sliced crosswise

Cashew Butter

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce

Eggplant and Assembly

  • 3–6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. eggplants, cut into 1½"-thick wedges, halved if small
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives

Recipe

Pickled Peppers

Bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar and salt.

Combine bell peppers and chiles in a medium heatproof bowl or container. Pour hot pickling liquid over and let cool.

Do Ahead: Pickles can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

Cashew Butter

Cook shallot, garlic, cashews, olive oil, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until cashews are golden brown and shallots are deep golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; save oil for another use. Transfer cashew mixture to a medium bowl. Add sugar and salt and toss to combine. Let cool.

Blend cashew mixture, lime juice, fish sauce, and ½ cup water in a blender until very smooth and pourable (it should be about the thickness of tahini).

Eggplant and Assembly

Preheat oven to 450°. Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Pour 3 Tbsp. oil into pan and swirl to coat. As soon as it begins to smoke, carefully add eggplants, cut side down, puzzling together to fit into a single layer. (Work in 2 batches if needed, adding another 3 Tbsp. oil to skillet between batches.) Cook, undisturbed, until cut sides are golden brown, 4–5 minutes.

Note: When it comes to eggplants, we generally find the smaller the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!), the better the flavor and texture. And of all the miniature varieties cropping up at the farmers’ market right now. They’re palm-size and streaked with purple and white. Unlike large globe eggplants, which can sport tough skins and mealy, seedy insides when cooked, smaller eggplants are ideal for roasting or confiting whole until tender and creamy.

Transfer skillet to oven (if working in 2 batches, return first batch of eggplants to skillet). Roast until eggplants are tender, about 4 minutes; season with salt. Add shallot and lime juice and toss well.

Spread ½ cup cashew butter on a platter. Arrange eggplants on top. Scatter basil, cilantro, chives, and 1 Tbsp. drained pickled peppers over.


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.

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These are recipes that we've tried with the produce in our Farm Boxes! We loved them and hope you get a chance to try them out too 😀

If you have your own recipes, we'd love to hear what you've been cooking with your farm box!

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