This is a guest post from Laura Pazzaglia of Hip Pressure Cooking. She lives in Italy, which means that her ingredients are often similar to mine here in California.
More about Laura
Laura is an American who has a background in the California tech industry. She used to spend her spare time running a website, virtualitalia.com, the largest community for enthusiasts of Italian culture, with her late Mother. Laura hopes to resurrect that website one day.
A few years ago when Laura had kids and started traveling around the world it put an end to her technology career and sparked a dormant passion to cook more healthfully and quickly. Her desire to share and educate as she used to do with complicated tech projects and Italian culture never waned, creating the perfect storm to produce hip pressure cooking.
I am thrilled to add Laura to the list of pressure cooking promoters, especially with her European point of view.
Hopefully you still have eggplant around to make this dish. If not, save the recipe for next year’s crop. It certainly sounds wonderful to me.
The Eggplant Sauce
If you have given-up cooking eggplant because it takes too long to get the raw flavor out, try this method! With just 5 minutes browning and three minutes under pressure your eggplant is served!
Use this recipe as a sauce on “short” pasta (penne, farfalle, or fusilli) or smashed and creamed at the last minute to serve on spaghetti. Or, instead, settle a scoop-full of these eggplants on a little pillow of rice – with an extra hit of spicy oil. Or double the recipe and serve the eggplant all by itself as a side-dish at room temperature (dress with a fresh extra virgin olive oil and a little squeeze of lemon).
Pressure Cooker Spicy Eggplant Sauce
2 Large Eggplants, cubed
1 Garlic Clove, smashed but with the wrapper on
1 bunch of fresh Oregano (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
hot pepper flakes (1 pinch for light heat, two pinches for medium, three for spicy!)
salt & pepper to taste
Wash and cube the eggplant. To get the bitter liquid out of the eggplant, put it in a strainer and sprinkle the cubes with salt. Add a plate on top of the cubed eggplant and some kind of weight on top of that to push it down (I use my full tea kettle) and leave them to rest for about half an hour or more.
Now, you will infuse the oil. In the cold pressure cooker, add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, the garlic clove (with the wrapper still on), the pinch of hot pepper and the oregano. Turn the flame on the lowest setting and swish everything around to flavor the oil (about 5 minutes)- if the oil starts to bubble and fry turn it off immediately. Carefully remove the garlic clove and wrapper (you can add the garlic back, later). Separate the diced eggplant into two piles. Turn the heat up to medium and add half of the eggplant into the pressure cooker, with the lid off. Add salt and pepper to taste. Swoosh the eggplant around lightly browning it on most sides- about 5 more minutes.
Next, add the raw eggplant and the roasted garlic clove you removed earlier. Quickly mix the new additions with the browned eggplant and close the pressure cooker lid. Raise the flame to high, when the pressure cooker begins to whistle lower the flame to medium-low and count 3 minutes. When the time is up release all of the vapor and move the eggplant to a serving dish to stop it from cooking further.
The dish in stages
Close up of the finished dish