Cilantro Seared Eggplant with Sonoran Ratatouille

From “Vegetarian Southwest” a recipe by Chef Reed Groban from Marquesa, Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, Arizona

Sonoran Ratatouillle

2 T olive oil

1 T medium diced red onion

1 ear fresh corn, kernels cut off cob

2 t finely chopped garlic

1 sm red pepper, diced

1 sm yellow pepper, diced

1 sm fresh poblano pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 medium yellow squash, diced

1 c black beans, cooked or use 3 c rinsed canned black beans

2 plum tomatoes, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add onion and corn and cook for 1 minute over moderate heat.  Add garlic, peppers, and chile and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the black beans and tomatoes.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Keep warm while preparing eggplant.

CILANTRO SEARED EGGPLANT

1 lg eggplant, peeled and sliced into 8 equal rounds

salt and black pepper to taste

4 T finely chopped cilantro

1 T ground cumin

1 t chili powder

1/4 c olive oil

cilantro sprigs for garnish

4 T shredded jack cheese, or soy cheese

Season the eggplant rounds iwth salt and pepper and set aside.  Combine the chopped cilantro, cumin and chili powder.  Dredge the eggplant in this herb and spice mixture.  In a nonstick saute pan over moderate heat, heat oil and saute eggplant until soft.

To serve, divide the ratatouille among 4 plates and arrange 2 slices of the eggplant on each.  Garnish each plate with fresh cilantro sprigs and shredded jack cheese.

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