Traditionally, Hungarian goulash is a hearty beef stew. In the recipe below, however, eggplant stands in for the beef for a vegetarian version of this classic dish that's just as tasty. Best of all? It's so much quicker to make.
The key to ensuring that the eggplant doesn't come out bitter is to try to select smaller ones at the store or farmers market. Because it's the seeds that make eggplant bitter, if you can't find smaller eggplant, consider removing some of the seeds from a larger one. Using both sweet and smoked paprika will give this dish the flavor you crave.
Vegetarian Eggplant Goulash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small eggplant, diced into 1-inch cubes
2 cups button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 red bell pepper, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3/4 pound new potatoes, halved
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven.
Add the eggplant, mushrooms, pepper and onion. Season with salt, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, paprika, new potatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked (about 20 minutes).