Thursday, June 6, 2013

Eggplant in Wine Sauce

Use a single frying pan to cook whole, split in half, eggplant all along with a version of a French beurre blanc sauce spiked with wine, lemon and a lot of black pepper.

Blog's Category:  International

Eggplant in Wine Sauce


I've got this intriguing recipe of Eggplant Au Poivre from Bon Appetit site, it's recipe by Soa Davies, New York city chef (I have to look up her recipes more - I like her taste). Just because I didn't have some of ingredients on hands, such as brandy, shallots and capers, and just because I still follow my rule "simplify but do not sacrifice the taste" - that's why I chopped the recipe severely and come up with my own version below. I loved the results so I'd be happy if you will like it too.

I have changed the original technique here in favor of using only stove top and the only one skillet throughout all recipe. Also I did not salt eggplants to get rid of bitterness. And I never do this - in my opinion eggplant's bitterness is almost imaginary thing.. sorry, kitchen gurus :)

What is it?

Eggplant halves are browned up right in a frying pan - it will take a chunk of your time during which you can watch your favorite show and cook something else. Then, same skillet will cook lemon halves (halves again!) and then The Same Skillet will cook sauce for you - onion, garlic, wine, a lot of black pepper, stock and some decent amount of butter will merry into nice emulsified sauce.

Taste Description

Almost tasteless by nature, cooked-through, eggplant has great soft and buttery texture - all this carry a lot of flavor and kick from the sauce. This sauce, spicy from a nice amount of black pepper, has that special distinctive flavor and taste of all wine-based sauces. Being Beurre Blanc derivative, this sauce has also plenty of smooth butter's umami. This buttery taste cuts down harshness of black pepper and create harmonic multi-taste experience.

Do not forget about lemon - I took a bit of lemon in between eggplant bites and couldn't get enough of this awesome contrast - after pleasant acidity of lemon eggplant was sweet and soothing, with peppery after-kick, - real roller coaster for your taste buds!

How to Serve

Serve warm, cut in 1" pieces. It will keep in a fridge for a few days. I reheated this eggplant next day for my lunch and enjoyed it very much, not less than when it was just out of stove.

Eggplant in Wine Sauce

  • 2 eggplants, cut in half
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbs very cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1.5 c white wine such as Pinot Grigio
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • some salt to taste

- In one very large (or two regular) skillets, pour olive oil, place eggplant cut side down and cover with lid. Cook eggplants on a very low heat until they get very intence golden-brown crust. It may take as long as 30-40 minutes.

- Flip eggplants over, cover with lid and cook for another 30 minutes or so until eggplant is completely soft and cooked through very nicely. Remove from a pan and transfer on a serving plate.

- In a same skillet cook lemons on a medium-low heat until cut side is nice and brown - you may want to add a splash of oil.

- Remove lemons on a plate with eggplants.

- To the same skillet, add garlic, onion and black pepper and cook stirring for a couple of minutes until onion softens and becomes translucent. Then add wine and cook for another two minutes.

- Add stock and continue to cook on a medium heat until sauce reduces in half. It may take 5-10 minutes. Add some salt.

- Take off the heat and start adding butter, piece by piece, whisking it into the sauce. It will emulsify the sauce and you will get nice and creamy beurre blanc. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.

- Cut eggplant across in 1" pieces, pour sauce on top and enjoy!


Do all the chopping first to have all your ingredients ready

I cooked my eggplants on a two skillets simultaneously

I hate to use oven in a summer.. so I opted to cook my eggplants slowly but surely on a stove top, covered, on a very low heat. Inner juices in a eggplant are enough to cook itself down nicely to the very soft and buttery condition - the only acceptable level of doneness for eggplants. If you feel that your eggplant is burning but still tough - just put it on a lowest possible heat available on your stove and make sure it's covered completely with a lid.

Do not worry if it seems that it's not enough oil in a pan - on a low heat, eggplant will release some moisture and will take care of itself by itself ;)
Aren't they nice looking tan guys?

Butter has to be very cold. Colder - better, it will emulsify nicely then.

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