KASHA VARNISHKES WITH FRIED EGGPLANT, MUSHROOMS,
AND ONION MARMALADE
PARVE, MEAT OR
- 1 large eggplant (about 1-1¼ pounds), peeled and cut into
- Coarse kosher salt
- About ½ cup olive oil
- 1½ pounds onions, coarsely chopped (6 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp fresh thyme or marjoram, according to taste
- 2 cups mushrooms (about ½ pound), wiped clean, trimmed, and
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- large egg
- 1 cup kasha, preferable coarse grind
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, homemade, or good-quality
- 4 ounces broad (wide) egg noodles (broken in half, if desired).
- Olive oil Schmaltz, margarine,
or if vegetable broth is used, unsalted butter, if needed
- ¼ cup finely minced scallions, or 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh
chives, for garnish
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle evenly with 2 tsp
salt. Weight the eggplant down, and let drain for about 1 hour,
stirring the pieces after 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and press
it very dry with paper towels.
- While the eggplant is draining, heat 3 tbsp oil in a 1--to-
12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and salt
and pepper them lightly. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring so they are
thoroughly coated with oil. Cover, turn the heat down to the
lowest simmer, and cook slowly until the onions are meltingly
tender, 35-40 minutes. Stir from time to time to make sure the
onions don't burn. When they are very soft, remove the lid, raise
the heat to high, and brown them to a rich caramel gold. Stir
frequently with a wooden spoon to redistribute the syrupy juices.
If necessary, turn the heat down a bit to prevent the onions from
sticking and burning. When the onions are thick and jamlike, stir
in the thyme or marjoram. Adjust the seasoning and transfer the
mixture to a very large bowl.
- Lightly rinse out the skillet and dry it, add 2 tbsp fresh oil,
and turn the heat to high. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring
frequently, until they release some juice, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the garlic, and continue
sautéing, lifting and turning often until all the liquid has
evaporated and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the onions.
- Wipe out the skillet and in it heat the remaining 3 tbsp oil
over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant,
in batches if necessary, and fry until tender and lightly browned
on both sides. Add more oil to the skillet if needed, but always
make sure the oil is very hot before adding the eggplant--this
will prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil. Transfer
the eggplant to the onions and mushrooms in the bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare the kasha. In a medium bowl, beat the egg with a fork.
Stir in the kasha and mix until each grain is thoroughly coated
with egg. Heat the broth to simmering. In a heavy skillet with
high sides or a wide, heavy saucepan, toast the kasha over medium
heat, turning and breaking up the kasha constantly until the egg
begins to dry and the grains separate, about 3 minutes. Add the
hot broth and salt and pepper to taste, then cover and simmer over
very low heat until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 10-15
- Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water and 1½ tsp salt to a rolling
boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender but still firm to the
bite. Drain and stir into the vegetables.
- In a lightly greased 3-quart shallow casserole, combine the
kasha with the other ingredients. Adjsut the seasoning to taste.
If the mixture seems dry, add schmaltz or dot with butter or
margarine as needed. Bake just until heated through. Sprinkle with
the scallions or chives and the parsley, and serve hot.
Source: The Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan