A good side dish for grilled or roasted meat and poultry, this dish can also stand alone as a vegetarian entree (for protein, you can add your choice of beans). The eggplant-tomato mixture is more of a condiment for the roasted potatoes, which are best when cooked until moist and creamy on the inside, and crispy brown on the outside. You can also use the topping on pasta instead of potatoes; make more of the eggplant-tomato mixture by increasing the proportions. Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese is an appropriate garnish for pasta, and it goes well with Syrah.
Besides eggplant and tomatoes, Syrah-friendly vegetarian ingredients include mushrooms, olives, capers and hard, salty cheeses like dry Jack, Parmesan and pecorino. Gruyere and Monterey Jack, which are melting cheeses, are also good.
Originally sourced from the Orange County Register
1. Prepare potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and dry potatoes, then cut in half lengthwise. If using larger potatoes, cut into medium-size pieces. Toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to coat, then season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes cut-side down on baking sheet and roast until done (when easily pierced with knife), and cut sides are browned and crispy, about 20 minutes, depending on size of pieces. If you wish, turn potatoes so any other cut sides can brown, too.
2. Prepare vegetables: Cut onion and tomatoes into small bite-size pieces. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. There should be about same volume of eggplant and tomato. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to medium-size skillet. Place over medium heat, and when oil is hot, add onion. Cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add eggplant, tomatoes and wine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until wine has almost evaporated. Add oregano, thyme, espresso, broth and mustard, if using. Cover and reduce heat to simmer, and cook until eggplant is done, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Assembly: Divide potatoes among warm plates. Top with tomato-eggplant mixture and garnish with parsley, if desired.