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Eggplant with Coconut, Mint, and Pistachio

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The combination of crunchy pistachios, nutty coconut, and spicy cardamom, brightened up by fresh mint, provide a wonderful punch of flavors. As simple as it is delicious, the thin slices of eggplant create shell-like structure, turning each into a bite-sized treat.

Serves 8, with some coconut mint topping left over*

  • 1 globe eggplant of fairly uniform thickness, unpeeled, sliced between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (unsweetened) desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drizzle the eggplant slices evenly on both sides with the olive oil, rubbing in with your fingers. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until nearly cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a food processor, combine the coconut, pistachios, cardamom, mint, and a scant 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse about 10 times, or until finely ground.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Flip the eggplant slices and sprinkle evenly with the topping. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the topping is lightly golden. Serve.

* Any leftover topping may be stored for up to one week in an airtight container.