Soft and silky roasted eggplant, leeks and red cabbage are tossed with blanched green beans, toasted almonds and a sweet and tangy tamarind vinaigrette. A delicious side dish or vegetarian main dish!
There are so many different recipes I want to make for you guys that it’s hard to pick which ones I’m going to do next. I do realized that I post a lot of vegetarian recipes, and while this is not a strictly vegetarian blog, that is what I end up loving to share. I eat meat, but I really love the way I feel when I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. And the whole idea behind The Cheerful Kitchen was to share recipes that I love, that make me feel good and that make me happy to prepare. So, you get a lot of vegetables, and I’m not even sorry about it! There are so many different ways to prepare vegetables that make them light up with flavors and textures you may not have experienced before, and this Roasted Eggplant + Veggies with Tamarind Vinaigrette is an excellent example of that.
Lets go through the textures of this dish
First, you have the roasted eggplant. Raw eggplant is a little bit squishy like a sponge. However, when you cook it thoroughly it softens and becomes very silky.
What is blanching?
Second, you have blanched green beans. Blanching something is just cooking it very quickly so that you get the raw flavor out, and then you submerge it in cold water to stop the cooking. This way, the green beans lose that raw crunch and take on a bright green color with a very lightly cooked crispness that is an excellent contrast to the smooth, soft eggplant.
Third, there are roasted red cabbage and leeks. Both of these vegetables get soft and caramelized in the oven. Roasting brings out all of the natural sugars in any vegetable you are cooking, so there is a roasty sweetness that slowly develops, elevating your ingredients.
Lastly, toasted almonds. That nutty crunch sprinkled on the top of your cooked vegetables is just the finishing touch needed to put this dish over the top. The sticky tamarind vinaigrette coats the vegetables and makes the toasted almonds cling to every bite, so there is a little bit of each texture and flavor in every forkful.
If making as a side dish, it would compliment pork particularly well. Roasted chicken would also stand up as a partner to this substantial vegetable medley.
I promise I will come at you soon with a carnivorous meal. In fact, I’m testing out a recipe for Lamb Ragu that is very promising, and I’m also working on a one pan meal with pork loin as the star. But, for now, give this Roasted Eggplant + Veggies with Tamarind Vinaigrette a shot. I think you’ll be surprised at how much you like it.
If you would like more vegetarian ideas, try these: