Baked Tunisian Eggplant and Pepper Frittata with Harissa
If you're craving for Tunisian flavors this Thanksgiving, this Baked Tunisian Eggplant and Pepper Frittata got your back. It's nutritiously delicious and equally good hot, cold or at room temperature.
- 1 to 1 ¼ pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 to 4 small)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves to taste, minced
- 8 eggs
- ⅓ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated or cut in small cubes 1/2 cup, tightly packed
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Harissa spice dissolved in 1 tablespoon water or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and rub it with olive oil. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin. Place the eggplant on the foil-covered baking sheet, cut side down. Place in the oven, and bake 20 minutes or until the skin has begun to shrivel and the eggplant has softened. Remove from the oven and transfer to a colander, cut side down. Allow to cool and drain for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Cut the eggplant into small dice. Don’t worry if the eggplant is so soft that it falls apart when you cut it up. If the charred edges on the cut side taste bitter, cut them away and discard them.
- While the eggplant is in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet, and add the onion and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, stir in the garlic and eggplant and cook for one more minute, stirring. Remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place the remaining tablespoon of oil in a 2-quart casserole or a 9-inch cast iron skillet, brush the sides of the pan with the oil, and place in the oven. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the parsley, cheese, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, cinnamon and cayenne. For a spicier dish, whisk in about a teaspoon of harissa or more, to taste. Stir in the eggplant mixture.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and pour in the egg mixture. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned on the top and set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving. Serve hot or at room temperature, cut into wedges or squares.
Click here to buy Harissa and other herbs and spices
Photo Credit to: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
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