Fall is here and I always crave squash and eggplant! I try my best to go to the local farmer’s market every weekend or every other weekend to support Maryland Farmers! I happened to pick up 3 nubia eggplants!
My original plan was to make khoresh bademjan which is an Iranian eggplant stew but when I got my Sipsby box and saw that there was genmaicha in it, an idea started brewing! Genmaicha is a Japanes green tea that also had puffed rice in it. This genmaicha is from Yannoko tea and is their organic variation which includes bancha as the green tea.
I love rice so the very first time I tried gemaicha I was in love! Genmaicha is definitely a tea that pairs well with savory food as it has the grassy green tea flavor as well as some roasted notes due to the rice. I decided to try a sauce using genmaicha to top the eggplants with!
In my recipe you’ll see that I said to let the eggplants “sweat".” When we prepare eggplants for the khoresh I mentioned above, you peel and slice the eggplants then salt them. After a little bit, you’ll see beads of liquid on them hence the “sweat"! This helps rid the eggplants of some of the bitterness. You are welcomed to fry the eggplants instead of baking but I love to bake them. With a little olive oil, S + P, they get browned and a bit crispy on the edges!
The baking time really depends on your preference and also how thick you sliced your eggplants. I wanted to give a little advice when slicing. Sometimes slicing thin can help things cook quicker, but with eggplant in the oven I’ve noticed that if they are sliced too thin you really lose most of the eggplant.
When doing this sauce I think it’s best to have all your ingredients prepared before you start so that you can focus on the sauce itself. When you brew the genmaicha tea, make sure to follow brewing instructions on the package. For reference, brewing temperature is 176F and steep for 30-60 seconds. You can do multiple infusions.
One other brewing note is about strength. In my other recipes I sometimes brew the tea on the longer side so that it is more potent in the dish since many times it is being cooked. Be cautious of applying that to genmaicha. I find genmaicha to be pretty delicate and you wouldn’t want the tea to be bitter and then transfer that taste to your meal!
The genmaicha helps cook the spinacha bit more and once it’s reduced use as much boursin as you’d like to thicken it. I could definitely use more cheese but was trying to keep this a semi helathy recipe :D I did want to note that I used boursin because I had some, it’s creamy texture and the fact that it is already flavored with garlic and herb which I think went well with everything else. You could definitely experiment with other cheeses but be careful of using one that is too strong as it will likely overpower any notes of the genmaicha.
I thought this sauce turned out well and it paired well with the eggplant! The sauce definitely has an earthy taste which is thanks to the genmaicha!
A fancy but easy meal for a day when you have time to make yourself a nice meal or use at a party!