BBQ Eggplant Tacos

Who doesn’t love BBQ and tacos? And who doesn’t love even more when those things are put together? After a bit of change in my plans on Sunday, I was left to fend for myself for dinner. I hemmed and hawed about what to make. I flipped through saved recipes and some cookbooks. Nothing was really jumping out to me. I wanted to crump, but didn’t want to push it. I had the time to make something that was a little more elaborate, but didn’t feel like dirtying my freshly scrubbed kitchen too much. I also really wanted to put BBQ sauce on something/everything.

Ok, a little backstory here. R and I were out running errands on Saturday, when we stumbled into Williams Sonoma. Well, the culinary Gods were smiling upon me that day, for Williams Sonoma had a BBQ sauce tasting bar set up. WHAT?! It had a bowl of tiny spoons next to a line of artisan BBQ sauces. There was a cherry chipotle, smoked vidalia onion, jalapeño-peach… all in squirt bottles just begging to be squirt into my mouth. R said I was embarrassing him as I made us lap back to this magical place multiple times (he is just lucky I was being civil enough to actually use the little spoons and not just squirt it directly into my mouth/all over my body). Whatever. Oh, they also had a bowl of chili-lime corn nuts. I am a sucker for corn nuts. And by the third lap I had the stroke of genius to start squirting the BBQ sauce on the corn nuts. It was truly magical. I want to go to there now.

But I digress. I didn’t feel like doing the standard BBQ tofu (but I will admit, while I am typing this and am woefully out of the BBQ eggplant… I plan on supplementing the leftovers with some BBQ tofu), so I was thinking that the meaty texture of eggplant would hold up nicely to some thick and tasty BBQ sauce. Also, the one thing that had popped out to me from my Millennium cookbook was this peach-lime chutney, which I thought would pair nicely with the BBQ sauce and replace the standard salsa. And instead of a traditional slaw, I topped these bad larries with a super simple fennel slaw.

These tacos were, for lack of a better phrase, stupid good. I will be honest, while I may not make the chutney again, it worked here. But I can’t wait to make the BBQ eggplant again and build some more fun entrees around it!

BBQ Eggplant Tacos

Adapted from The Chubby Vegetarian and The Millennium Cookbook
 
Materials:
  • Tortillas of choice (I like La Tortilla Factory)
  • 2 eggplants (I used 1 and it was just enough for me)
  • olive oil
  • your favorite BBQ sauce
For the Peach-Lime Chutney
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lime, with peel, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 2 peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
For the Fennel Slaw
  • 1 head fennel, shaved on mandoline
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
Methods:
To make the BBQ eggplant
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise.
  3. Generously oil a rimmed baking sheet and place eggplants cut side down in olive oil.
  4. Roast in oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  6. Remove skin from eggplant and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  7. Lightly tear apart the flesh and then smother it with BBQ sauce, massaging in the BBQ sauce so every bit of eggplant is covered.
    • Lick your hands clean.
  8. Place back in oven for 20 additional minutes.
To make the Peach-Lime Chutney

  1. Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add the lime and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the lime and set aside (you may want to give it some more chopping action at this time).
  4. Heat up the vinegar and sugar in a medium skillet until the sugar has dissolved and it takes on a bit of a syrupy consistency.
  5. Add the ginger and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant.
  6. Add the peaches, pepper, and lime.
  7. Saute for additional ~7 minutes.
  8. Transfer to bowl and allow to cool.

To make the fennel slaw

  1. Toss the fennel with the remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble

  1. Warm up your tortillas either in a skillet or quickly in the microwave.
  2. Spoon in the BBQ eggplant and top with the chutney and slaw.
  3. Enjoy!

 

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