We recently returned from a 10 day vacation in Spain, touring the exceptional food scene in Granada, Seville, Barcelona and Madrid from mediterranean influences, to seafood, to cheese, and of course the tapas, oh the tapas (ps. stay tuned - we'll be sharing all the details, our favourite dishes and local eats). We couldn't resist sharing one of our favourites dishes we tried in Spain, Smoked Eggplant Fritters with Chèvre Cream and Soy Honey, from a little tapas bar in Barcelona on an unassuming street just off Passeig de Gràcia, La Pepita.
A tall and narrow bar – dusk lighting, an echoing of conversation and every inch wrapped in hand graffiti. Everything was covered in markers designed by bar drinkers, table diners and late night snackers – the wall, the pot planters, the art – everything. And the service, La Pepita had the warmest, friendliest and most knowledgable foodie staff in our travels. Amazing atmosphere, great service, cheap drinks, awesome food, and they let us brand Chef Sous Chef on a piece of art right above a small table for two.
It was here that we tried these awesome Smoked Eggplant Fritters, and as soon as we set our forks down, we knew we had to attempt to replicate the recipe. A balanced bite of crisp and ooze from the eggplant is sparked by the tangy chèvre and soothed by the soy honey, these fritters are sure to ignite your palate. Perfect for a dinner party or cocktail reception, this dish is sure to inspire your guests, and like our visit to La Pepita, set the tone for a wonderful and enchanting evening.
Smoked Eggplant with Chèvre Cream and Soy Honey
- 2 large eggplants
- ½ cup flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped plus leaves for garnish
- ¼ cup goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 small apple
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon artisanal salt such as Himalayan or Smoked Salt
- No. 1 | Open your Traeger lid and set to smoke. Once smoke appears close the lid and set temperature to 375°. (If you don't own a smoker then preheat your oven to 400° and roast eggplants for 30 minutes)
- No. 2 | Meanwhile, peel the eggplants and slice into ½” discs. Once smoker is preheated, place eggplants and cook for 45 minutes, flipping once around the 30 minute mark.
- No. 3 | Remove eggplant from the smoker and set aside to cool.
- No. 4 | In a small bowl warm 1 tablespoon of honey. Add goat cheese and stir until well combined. Set aside on counter until ready to use.
- No. 5 | In a separate small bowl combine 1 teaspoon honey with 2 teaspoon soy sauce. Set aside until ready to use.
- No. 6 | Once eggplant is cool, finely chop or mash into a paste. Mix eggplant together with flour, chopped cilantro, and egg. Season with salt and pepper. The mixture should resemble a sticky dough.
- No. 7 | Preheat a skillet to medium high heat with olive oil. Place 1 tablespoon dollops of eggplant mixture and flatten to about ½” to ¾” rounds. Cook until lightly browned on both sides and allow to cool on a mesh cooling rack. Repeat until all fritters are complete.
- No. 8 | While, fritters are cooking julienne apple into matchstick size pieces. Pour lemon juice over them to coat.
- No. 9 | To assemble fritters, place fritter on plate, top with 1 teaspoon of chèvre cream, a cilantro leaf, a few apple sticks and drizzle with soy honey. Finish with a sprinkle a pinch of artisan salt.
Bon appetit xo
Chef Sous Chef
Ready to make this? Get the printable version of this recipe below.