Another side dish that you might use for Thanksgiving? YES. PLEASE.
In other news, wanna know what the best thing about teaching morning yoga is? You are ready for lunch at 10am in a RAVENOUS way. Or not.
This side dish, though. It’s NICE. Real nice. It can be used as a side dish, or (spoiler alert) a main dish salad with a few adjustments. The dried cranberries add a great sweetness to balance the bitterness of the eggplant, and it’s EASY. 20 minutes or so, cook some parts while you prep others, that kind of thing.
Also crispy sage so…let’s do it.
Now, you can do this in one pan or two pans, depending on your time available to dish avoidance ratio. That’s definitely a real thing. The two pan method goes like this: in one pan, start carrots, the other pan is for toasting nuts. Then you use that second plan to crisp the sage while the carrots/eggplant keep cooking. OR, you can use one pan. Toast the nuts, set them aside. Crisp the sage, set it aside. Start carrots. Add eggplant. Proceed. Pick a method! I did a one-skillet method since I don’t like dishes, but you have to be you.
For starters, toast the nuts if they aren’t already in a dry skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or so just until you can smell them. Dry. Not doused with olive oil like this is. Sigh. I’m a moron.
Cook the carrots for 5 minutes to start softening them. While you do that, prep the eggplant. I leave the skin on because its good and good for you, but peel it if you’re a pansy. Cut the eggplant into large slices.
When the carrots have slightly softened, add the eggplant to the pan with some more salt and the nutmeg. Stir the veggies together for 5-10 more minutes until the eggplant and carrots are soft and cooked through. I like my eggplant still slightly spongy in the middle, but let yours cook a bit longer if you like it really soft.
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 2 large carrots, cubed
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- In a large skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Remove to a plate. In the same pan, fry the sage leaves for 4 minutes in the olive oil until slightly browned. Remove the leaves to a paper towel to drain.
- To the same pan with the olive oil used in frying the sage, add the carrots with a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 5 minutes until the carrots are slightly softened, then add the eggplant with more salt and the nutmeg. Cook for 5-10 more minutes until the vegetables are cooked to your liking - still with a bit of crunch or completely soft.
- Add the walnuts and cranberries to the pan. Stir to combine, and taste one of the veggies. Add more salt if you'd like. Serve topped with the crispy sage.
- Add a heap of arugula, some parmesan, and cracked pepper to the top of this dish for an instant salad!