Louisiana Blackening Basics

Blackened Eggplant Ratatouille
 
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon
  • Spicy Lemongrass Blackening Rub, divided (recipe follows)
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced ¾-inch thick
  • 1 large red onion, sliced ¾-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow squash, sliced ¾-inch thick
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced ¾-inch thick
  • Garnish: toasted pine nuts

BLACKENING BASICS: CRISPY EGGPLANT

To combat watery eggplant, generously rub the flesh with salt and let stand up to 1½ hours then rinse and pat dry.

1. Spray a grill grate with nonflammable grilling spray. Preheat grill to 400°. Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on grill while grill heats.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, basil, ½ teaspoon Spicy Lemongrass Blackening Rub, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

3. In a large bowl, combine fennel, red onion, squash, mushroom, 1 tablespoon oil, pepper, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Using tongs, gently place vegetables on grill, cooking about 4 minutes per side or until lightly charred. Transfer to a bowl, and keep warm.

4. Sprinkle eggplant slices with remaining 2 tablespoons Spicy Lemongrass Blackening Rub. In prepared skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add eggplant, and cook 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat, and quarter.

5. Chop fennel and red onion. Halve squash, and cut mushrooms into strips.

6. Divide eggplant, fennel, red onion, squash, and mushrooms among 4 bowls. Top with yogurt mixture and pine nuts, if desired. Serve immediately.

Spicy Lemongrass Blackening Rub
 
Makes about ¼ cup
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons ground Thai chile pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon dried lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Transfer to a sealed container, and store up to 6 months.

 

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