Roasted Eggplant Wedges with Herbed Pistachio Millet

Serves: 4-6

INGREDIENTS
for the quick pickled red onion
  • half of a red onion – thinly sliced
  • apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
for the herbed pistachio millet
  • 1 cup millet – soaked in purified water w/ a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tab neutral coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tsp turmeric – fresh or ground??
  • sea salt – to taste
  • 1 cup mixed chopped herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, mint
  • ⅓ cup pistachios – chopped (or try peanuts)
for the eggplant wedges
  • 2 medium eggplants – sliced into wedges
  • 1 Tab coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • za’atar – or use ground thyme
for the tahini sauce
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha or Tabasco (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup purified water

    to make the quick pickled red onion

    1. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl and generously drizzle it with apple cider vinegar. Add the coconut sugar, if using, and toss to coat. Let marinate while cooking the millet and roasting the eggplants.

    to make the herbed pistachio millet

    1. Drain the millet and thoroughly rinse it in a strainer.
    2. Warm the oil over medium heat in a medium pot, add cumin seeds and toast for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add turmeric and stir it around for a minute. Add the millet and toast, stirring, for a few minutes.
    3. Add 2 cups of purified water and salt. Increase the heat to a medium high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the millet for 15-20 minutes, covered, but stirring occasionally. Let the millet cool a bit and stir in the herbs and pistachios.

    to roast the eggplant wedges

    1. Preheat oven to 200° C. Prepare a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
    2. Place the eggplant on a the baking sheet. Drizzle with the coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix to coat.
    3. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the wedges and roast for another 15 minutes until soft and golden on both sides. Let cool a bit and sprinkle with za’atar when serving.

    to make the tahini sauce

    1. Combine the tahini, maple syrup, sriracha (if using), salt and lemon juice in a small bowl, mix until smooth. Add water gradually, while mixing, until you achieve a smooth sauce consistency.

Kabocha Squash (pumpkin) Ice Cream with Maple Toasted Pecans

It has a beautiful colour, perfect texture and amazing flavor. The cranberry sauce creates the most pleasant contrast with the smooth and mild ice-cream, and the maple toasted pecans contribute the delicious finishing touch.  You need an ice-cream machine – makes 2 batches

1 small kabocha or red kuri squash, or pumpkin – cut in half and seeded
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 Tab shredded ginger
3/4 cup maple syrup or more to taste
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp xanthan gum – optional

for the cranberry sauce
2 cups cranberries
1 cup honey

for the pecans
large handful of pecans
maple syrup and grapeseed oil for drizzle
sea salt

To make the ice cream base
1. Turn the oven to 400 F (180 C). Place the squash halves cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until soft throughout. Let cool
2. Meanwhile, pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan, add in ginger, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let infuse for 30 minutes.
3. Combine the squash flesh (I utilize the skin of red kabocha or red kuri squash as well, as it’s soft when baked. You’ll need a high-speed blender though, if using the skin), gingery coconut milk and the rest of ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Chill well in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

to make the cranberry sauce
1. Combine the cranberries and honey in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the cranberries begin to pop open, for 10-12 minutes. Let cool and pulse in a blender or food processor to a chunky consistency.

to toast the pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In a bowl, drizzle pecans with maple syrup, grapeseed oil and a pinch of sea salt, mix to coat. Spread on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Let cool and chop.

to make the ice cream
1. Make sure that ice-cream base and cranberry sauce are well chilled. Churn the ice-cream base in your ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions ( I needed to do this amount in 2 batches, based on the size of my Cuisinart ice-cream machine).
2. Prepare a chilled container and scoop about 1/3 of the freshly made ice-cream into it, distributing into an even layer. Drizzle about a third of the cranberry sauce on top, followed by a third of the maple tossed pecans.
3. Continue to scoop another third of the ice-cream into the container, alternating with the cranberry sauce and pecans. If you do it in two batches, keep the ratios accordingly. Chill for at least 2 hours or longer before serving. When hardened completely, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before scooping.