Eggplant in tomato, anchovy, shallot sauce

This one is a treat! You start by making a shallot/anchovy/tomato thing ala Alison Roman, but then add wise and olives and it becomes this *chefs kiss* broth to braise some baby eggplants in. Soak it all up with some crusty bread or steamed buttered rice. Make sure to find italian or japanese eggplants. You can use large globe eggplants, but you’ll need to cut them into smaller strips and likely increase your cooking time.

Serves 2-3

  • 1 llb italian eggplant, about 4 small eggplants.
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tbs oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp calabrian chili paste, or chili flakes
  • 8 anchovy filets. 
  • Small handful of olives 
  • 1 tbs fresh oregano
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • ¼-¾ cup broth of choice (chicken or vegetable)
  • Parmesan + sliced scallions for topping
  1. Cut eggplant in half down the middle, salt liberally and let sit on a baking sheet until it “sweats” (about 20 mins). Use a paper towel to wipe down the eggplants. Use a fork to prick the skin side of the eggplant, 3-4 times per eggplant half. If you are using large globe eggplant, cut once down the middle length wise, then another time down the middle length wise, creating long quarters.
  2. In a large cast iron, heat some oil over med- high heat.
  3. Working in batches, brown the eggplant. Flesh side 2-3 minutes, skin side 1 minute. Set aside.
  4. Turn the heat down and add more oil.
  5. Add your shallots and garlic and cook on low until very caramelized, 15 or so minutes. Stirring regularly.
  6. Add the anchovies and break down with your spoon, they should eventually dissolve. Saute 2 mins.
  7. Add tomato paste, calabrian chili paste, and oregano and saute on low for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add 1 cup cup wihite wine and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add olives and olive brine. Taste and season if necessary.
  9. Nestle in the eggplant, flesh side up. Add enough broth that the liquid fills the pan while still keeping the flesh of the eggplant uncovered.
  10. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Half way through, spoon a small amount of the broth on top of the eggplants, without drowning them. If you are using larger eggplants (globe), you will need to cook for more time.
  11. Serve over steamed rice or with crusty bread, topped with parmesan and scallions.