Fried Eggplant With Chickpeas and Mint Chutney

Fried Eggplant With Chickpeas and Mint Chutney

adapted from the New York Times


  • 2 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 white onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 15-ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • sea salt, as needed


  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 green onion, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  •  Plain yogurt (optional)
  1. Season the sliced eggplant with salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is heated add enough eggplant slices to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook until the bottoms are browned, then flip and continue to cook until well browned and soft, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more oil if things begin to dry out. Transfer cooked eggplant to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and repeat with more oil and eggplant until all the eggplant is cooked. Taste eggplant and add more salt if necessary.
  2. Heat another tablespoon of oil in pan, then add the onions. Cook until golden soft.
  3. Add garlic to the onions and cook until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute longer, then add tomatoes, chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of water.
  5. Partly cover the pan and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking until tomatoes start to break down, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add eggplant to the pan and cook until sauce thickens, or about another 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. While the eggplant cooks, combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a blender with 2 tablespoons water. Blend until puréed, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust for more lemon juice or salt as needed.
  8. Serve the eggplant topped with the chutney and, if using, the yogurt.

Poblano, Mushroom, Zucchini and Corn Tacos

Poblano, Mushroom, Zucchini and Corn Tacos

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized white onion, chopped
  • 1 pound tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ancho poblano chiles
  • 1 ear of white corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 2 medium zucchinis, unpeeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, scrubbed clean and sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup queso fresco
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • fresh corn tortillas
  • 3 limes, cut into quarter wedges
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large pot.

  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Add the garlic for the last minute of cooking.

  3. In a blender or food processor puree the tomatoes. Set aside.

  4. Roast the whole poblanos over the flame of your gas range, on the grill, or under the broiler until the skins are charred black all over. While hot, place in a tea towel and roll up tight to steam and loosen the skins. Once they are cool enough to handle use your hands to slip the pepper from its skin and give it a good rinse under cool water. Slice into thin strips. Set aside.

  5. Once the onions have finished cooking add the tomato puree. Cook, covered, stirring often until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

  6. Increase the heat to medium high and add the sliced poblanos, corn kernels, zucchini, and heavy cream. Stir well to combine and cook for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the zucchini is soft but not mushy and the mushrooms have softened and absorbed some of the sauce, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and mix in cumin, then season to taste with salt to taste.

  7. Meanwhile, as the vegetables cook, heat a frying pan over medium high heat and warm each tortilla for about 30 seconds, flipping once. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil or a towel and place in a warmed oven to keep, or use a tortilla warmer. 

  8. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a serving platter and top with the chopped cilantro. Serve with the shredded cabbage, lime wedges, queso fresco, hot sauce (if using) and the warm tortillas. Assemble and enjoy.


Eggplant Manicotti

Eggplant Manicotti

  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cups mozzarella, grated 
  • ½ cups parmesan, grated plus extra for 
  • ¼ cups basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce*
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices and generously salt both sides of each slice. Let the salt draw out the moisture from the eggplant for 20 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, fold together all three cheeses with about half of the basil, spinach and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  4. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with a paper or kitchen towel.
  5. Brush each slice, front and back, with the remaining olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes to make the slices more tender and pliable then cool on the baking sheet.
  6. Add about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture to narrower end of a slice of eggplant. Roll up the filling and, if necessary, use a toothpick to keep everything in place. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
  7. Spoon some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, arranging the eggplant manicotti rolls so that they lay in the pan seam-side down in a single layer. If you used toothpicks you can remove them at this time.
  8. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of the manicottis and bake them for 30 minutes or until they've heated all the way through and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. To plate, spoon some of the hot tomato sauce onto the middle of the plate, then, using a thin spatula, remove the manicottis and place on the plate, sprinkle with basil and more parmesan cheese.

*Use your favorite recipe or store bought (we like Bertolli's Organic in a pinch) and check back later this summer for Vibrant Valley Farm's own tomato sauce recipe.