By Marcus Samuelsson | December 28, 2010

Photo: NellieMcS

I love roasted eggplant, and this vegetarian dish combines the hearty vegetable with sweet plantains for a spicy side to your Kwanzaa feast.  Plantains are similar to a banana, but are generally used for cooking.  In this recipe, I roast them and then  toss them in a spice mixture.  If you love sweet and savory contrasts in food, then this is a dish for you!

Roasted Eggplant & Plantains Recipe

Servings: 4-6


  • 4 green plantains(not peeled)
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • 11/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the whole plantains on a baking sheet and roast until the skin starts to color, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant lengthwise in half and brush the cut sides with the melted butter. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop the eggplant fleshinto a blender, add the coffee, and puree until smooth (leave the oven on.) Transfer to a serving bowl.

3. When the plantains are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine the brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, soy sauce, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Add the sliced plantains and toss to coat. Arrange the plantains on a baking sheet and roast for another 5 minutes.

4. Fold the plantains into the eggplant puree and sprinkle with the chives.

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