Thai Green Curry Eggplant Stack

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Green Curry Sauce
1 cup curry paste
14 ounces canned low-fat coconut milk
1 cup rice or soy milk
1 cup green summer squash cubes, cooked until soft and drained
1/2 bunch thai or italian basil leaves, stemmed
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, stemmed
sea salt to taste
Herb Crusted Eggplant
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup polenta
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 rosa bianca or purple italian eggplants, cut into twelve 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup canola oil (optional)
Barley Salad
3 cups cooked barley
2 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
1 tomato, finely diced
1 small cucumber, peel on, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Sautéed Vegetables
1 1/2 pounds seasonal vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, sliced shitake and whole oyster mushrooms, green beans, long beans, bok choy and other greens, cubed tomato, peppers, and Japanese eggplant)
1/4 cup bean sprouts
4 shallots, sliced thin
2 teaspoons canola oil (optional)
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh basil leaves
1 red onion, peeled and sliced thin
Curry Paste
4 shallots, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons minced peeled garlic
1 tablespoon minced galangal (optional)
1/2 bunch cilantro, parsley chopped, including stems and roots
3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half coarsely chopped
2 serrano or thai chiles
1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons minced lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon light miso
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (optional)

To make the curry sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the curry paste, coconut milk, and rice milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the sauce. Transfer to a blender and add the squash, basil and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Add salt. Set aside.

To make the eggplant: In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, polenta, herbs and spices. Stir to mix well. In another shallow bowl, whisk the soy milk and mustard together. Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour mixture to coat well, then place in the soy mixture to coat well. Dredge in the flour mixture again to coat well.

In a large, non-stick sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until a drop of the flour mixture fries immediately. Cook the eggplant rounds in batches on both sides until golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven.

To make the salad: In a medium bowl, combine all he ingredients and mix well.

To make the sautéed vegetables: In a large sauté pan or skillet, sauté the vegetables and shallots in the oil over very high heat, about 5 minutes. Or cook them in a dry nonstick pan until they start to soften. Add the curry sauce, bean sprouts, mint, basil, and onion and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

To assemble: Put 1/2 cup barley salad in the bottom of a shallow soup or pasta bowl. Place 1 eggplant round on top of the salad, place 1 cup sautéed vegetables on the eggplant and top with a second eggplant round. Pout 1/2 cup curry sauce around the plate. Top the eggplant with some sprouts and some basil and mint.

Curry Paste
In a food processor or blender, blend all of the ingredients until ground until a coarse paste. If using a blender, you will need up to 1/4 cup more water to pull the mix together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.



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