Whole food cooking – eating foods in their natural state, or as close to it as possible – is healthy and simple and, when done right, delicious.
“If you start with good ingredients you can make something great if you just don’t mess with it too much,” says Amy Chaplin, a New York-based chef.
Her previous cookbook, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, won a James Beard award, but Chaplin says many readers told her the book was too complicated. Accessibility and versatility thus became the priorities for the recipes included in her new book, published this fall, Whole Food Cooking Every Day.
Her recipe for spicy miso-roasted tomatoes and eggplant is a great example of the simple, but tasty delicious recipes she was going for. The one-pan dish is full of flavour and boasts plenty of protein thanks to chickpeas. Most importantly, it is as tasty as it is easy to prepare, Chaplin says.
“That’s really the key to eating well every day,” she says. “You can’t cook an elaborate meal every night. Nobody has the time any more.”
Spicy Miso-Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant
Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch-by-3-inch (2.5-cm-by-7.5-cm) wedges
- 4 medium tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch (6-mm) slices
- 3 tablespoons melted extra-virgin coconut oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unpasteurized sweet white miso
- 2 tablespoons mirin (or substitute 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove, grated or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- ¾ cup cooked chickpeas, well drained
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves for garnish
- Thick coconut or whole-milk yogurt for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and put the eggplant, tomatoes and onion on it. Combine the oil, miso, mirin, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, red chili pepper flakes, turmeric and salt in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over the vegetables and toss until evenly coated. Spread the vegetables out on the pan; they should almost be in a single layer, with just a few overlapping.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are browned on the bottom. Remove the vegetables from the oven and turn them over as best you can; you may end up just stirring them, as they will be juicy. Roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are completely soft and browned in spots. Scatter the chickpeas over the vegetables, sprinkle with a little more salt, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes to warm the chickpeas through. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and top with the herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature, with yogurt on the side. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Excerpted from Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Anson Smart. Used with permission from the publisher.
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