Smoky Eggplant and Zucchini Curry

Charring the eggplant’s skin delivers a smoky element to this Indian-inspired curry, with simple ingredients and a lot of taste. Add additional spices if you like your curry flavor more intense. Serve with Basmati rice or naan.

Smoky Eggplant and Zucchini Curry

1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons (30mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 small yellow, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 serrano chiles, minced (optional)
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Pierce the eggplant about 10 times with a sharp knife and put it on a baking sheet. Broil, turning about every 7 minutes, until skin is blistered. Put the eggplant in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let steam for about 5 minutes to loosen the skin of the eggplant. Remove the lid and let cool.

Heat the oil over medium-high head in a small saucepan or deep skillet. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles (if using), and the ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon. Add the zucchini and continue to cook until it begins to soften, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and add a few dashes of salt, and reduce to medium-low heat. Peel the skin from the eggplant (it will easily come loose), then coarsely chop the eggplant and add it to the pot.

Let simmer, stirring infrequently, for 20 minutes. Season with additional salt (and spices, if desired), to taste. Stir in cilantro before serving.

Creamy Zucchini Gratin

A spin on the traditional gratin, this version nixes the cream, adds the nuttiness of walnuts, and has a hint of olive oil. It takes a few moments to put together, and can easily be doubled to use up extra zucchini.

Creamy Zucchini Gratin 2

Creamy Zucchini Gratin

For the filling:
3 tablespoons medium extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch half-moons
2 tablespoons sorghum flour or other whole grain flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup hot unsweetened nondairy milk (see Note)

For the topping:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sorghum flour or other whole grain flour
2 tablespoons large-flaked nutritional yeast
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons medium extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Have a 9-inch deep dish pie dish ready.

To make the filling, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, cooking until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until softened, about 8 more minutes. Add the remaining oil, mixing well. Stir in the flour, nutmeg, and a few dashes of salt and grinds of pepper. Mix to coat. Slowly pour in the hot nondairy milk while stirring. Let cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish.

To make the topping, put the walnuts, flour, nutritional yeast, and a few dashes of salt and grinds of pepper in a food processor. Process until mixed and the walnuts are coarsely ground. Add the oil. Process for about 30 seconds until the mixture can stick together when squeezed in fingers. Evenly sprinkle the mixture over the zucchini.

Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes, until bubbly and the topping has browned. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving, though it will thicken more as it stands. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The best option for nondairy milk in this recipe is coconut milk beverage (in the carton), as it is fattier and richer, has produces a creamier (but neutral tasting) result.

Smoky Potato and Zucchini Hash

If you like a bit of a kick, use hot smoked paprika instead of sweet, and serve with a few dashes of a Louisiana-style hot sauce.

Smoky Potato and Zucchini Hash

Smoky Potato and Zucchini Hash

1 pound (454g) russet potato, grated and rinsed
1 pound (454g) zucchini, grated
1 small yellow onion, grated
1/4 cup (60mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons (7mL) smoked paprika
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the grated potato, zucchini, and onion in a large, clean dish towel. Squeeze tightly, removing as much excess liquid as possible. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potato mixture, pressing down snuggly. Let cook for about 8 minutes, until the mixture cooks on the bottom and is golden brown.

Transfer the pan into the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through and it starts to turn golden on the top. Change the oven setting to the broiler and move the pan to the top rack. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the top begins to brown. Cut into slices and serve warm.