Wakefield – Eggplant & Corn Relish + Maple Syrup

eggplant and corn relish

Eggplant & Corn Relish + Maple Syrup with Crostini

Oh, there are so many things one can do with eggplant, and when the Market Manager told me that they’d not demoed anything with eggplants in a while, I was psyched!!

It was a cold and windy for a Saturday in July, so a warm relish on some fresh bread from The Bread Shop and Mamadou’s sounded like a good idea. Farmer Dave had the most tender and gorgeous Asian or Japanese variety this week; that with the fresh corn from Kelly’s Farm and some basil and garlic from the Flats Mentor Farm rounded up my veggies. As I walked around talking with the vendors before prep, I met the Ackermann Maple Syrup guys from Vermont, and I thought it might be interesting to add some of their golden liquid to the relish as a glaze.

eggplant and corn relish
Corn off the cob…

Voila! The resulting relish was delish!

This recipe is so simple, I had one older market customer who tried the relish ask me in astonishment, “That’s it?!”

One tweak I’d make is cutting up the bread and toasting it like for a panzanella salad and mixing it into the relish before serving, since balancing the chunks of veggies on a crostini proved challenging at the market. Or, you could roast the eggplant and mash it before making the relish to get it into a more relish/dip like consistency that’s spreadable on a cracker or crostini.

Another addition of either soy sauce or miso would enhance the umami flavor by a few notches.

eggplant and corn relish
Fresh baguette and basil, oh the smells of summer…
Makes Approx. 4-5 cups

    2 medium-sized Japanese eggplants
    1 small onion
    2 cloves of garlic
    2 ears of corn
    1½ tbsp. maple syrup
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. crushed black pepper
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    1½ baguettes cut into crostini pieces
    1 handful of fresh basil

eggplant and corn relish
Pure gold…

  1. Cut the eggplant into ½ inch cubes
  2. Shuck the corn and scrape the kernels off the cob in a bowl
  3. Chop the onions and mince the garlic cloves
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan so that all the eggplant touches the surface
  5. Add the onions and garlic and stir for about 2-3 minutes
  6. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the eggplant and some of the salt to cook and caramelize
  7. eggplant and corn relish
    Served up simple and quick…

  8. When the eggplant pieces start to soften add the corn
  9. Add the remaining salt and pepper
  10. Cook the corn and eggplant for about 8-10 minutes, then add the maple syrup
  11. Rough chop the basil leaves and set aside
  12. When the eggplant is fully cooked and the onions have caramelize, it’s done
  13. Adjust any seasoning and add the basil
  14. Serve with warm crostini or as a panzanella salad

Don’t hesitate to try something new, keep it simple and let the fresh ingredients speak to your guests. And let recipes like these make summer entertaining a synch.

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