Eggplant Steaks with Parmesan Peas
The secret for really lovely eggplant steaks is the same as regular beef steaks. Cut them thickly! Although for the eggplant it’s best to cook on a low-medium heat so the middles get to go all lovely and melting and the outsides avoid over-charring.
Cooking with the lid on helps trap in the heat and steam and minimize burning. It gives the most divinely silky eggplant texture without having to resort to obscene amounts of oil.
If you’re short on time, by all means go for thinner slices and a higher heat – I guess you could call them eggplant ‘minute steaks’.
takes: 15-20 minutes
1 medium eggplant
2 handfuls frozen peas
1 large handful grated parmesan cheese
small bunch fresh mint leaves
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Get a large fry pan on a medium heat. Slice eggplant into steaks about 2cm (3/4in) thick.
2. Add a very generous glug of olive oil to the pan and then add the eggplant slices. Sprinkle a little salt over the top.
3. Cover with a lid and cook, turning at least every 5 minutes until the eggplant are soft and deeply browned (about 15 minutes). If they start to burn, turn the heat down.
4. Meanwhile heat a little more olive oil in a small pan. Add the frozen peas and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the peas are hot and sweet.
5. Remove peas from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parmesan & mint. Season.
6. Serve ‘steaks’ with peas on the side.
carnivore – serve peas with Beef steaks or lamb cutlets that have been cooked on a high heat for 2.5 – 3 minutes each side.
pescetarian – replace eggplant with fish fillets.
vegan / dairy-free – replace the parmesan with brazil nuts finely grated using a microplane grater.
mushroom steaks – skip the eggplant. Trim 1-2 large field or portabello mushrooms and sear on a high heat for about 5 minutes each side, until very soft.
herby – replace the mint with fresh basil or flat leaf parsley leaves.
carb lovers / more substantial – toss cooked pasta in with the peas or serve with couscous.
paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – skip parmesan and drizzle peas with a grassy olive oil or replace parmesan with grated brazil nuts.
more veg – toss in snow peas and sugar snap peas.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
eggplant – will keep for a few weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. For longer, sliced and rub with oil and grill until soft and browned.
frozen peas – keep in the freezer.
parmesan cheese – keeps for months in an airtight container in the fridge.
mint – use for another meal.
lemon – will keep for months in a plastic bag in the fridge.