Friday, February 4, 2011

Liver Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe

Liver Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Liver and eggplant was on the ingredient list today and I did a web search to find dishes that used eggplant and liver. An Israeli dish called ‘eggplant chopped liver’ was one of the more popular results. Eggplant chopped liver was created in the 1940’s/50’s when Israel was a poor country. It sounds logical to use secondary cuts of meat since it is generally cheaper and has higher nutritional value. After all famous dishes like beef bourguignon, osso buco and liver paté rely on secondary cuts.

I was excited to cook an Israeli dish, something I had never done before. Unfortunately that excitement was short-lived when I discovered that eggplant chopped liver has no liver, and its certainly not chopped. There is eggplant, so one point out of three. Why name it eggplant chopped liver when there are other more creative names like “eggplant pureed foie gras”, “eggplant braised veal cheeks”…?

Including ‘liver’ in the name of a dish that has no liver seems counterintuitive. Generally speaking people are more likely to be put off by liver than be attracted to it. It is like including the word ‘beef’ in a vegetarian dish.

Anyway I still had liver and eggplant to take care of and with no help from the Israeli’s I was left on my own. Liver eggplant in spicy tomato sauce was created. It has liver, eggplant, tomato sauce and spices, to avoid any misunderstanding. For a brief moment I was tempted to use my newly acquired naming skills to come up with a more creative name to match eggplant chopped liver.

Liver eggplant in spicy tomato sauce is pleasant. The irony taste is subtle because of tomatoes and eggplant. And the spicy tomato sauce works well with liver and eggplant. For those who are not keen fans of liver, liver eggplant in spicy tomato sauce can probably be a first step, it will nudge you in the right direction. If you are bit more daring chicken liver and smoked sausage parfait could be an option. But this special dish is reserved for the very brave souls.

I finished off my satisfying lunch with a cup of “coffee and curdled spiced donkeys milk”.

The recipe below has no amounts, please use estimates to suit your preference. I used liver and eggplant in equal quantity by volume and was quite generous with paprika. Not much oil is required since the cooking is done covered on low heat.

Liver (cut into cm cubes)
Eggplant (cut into cm cubes)
Garlic, minced
Onions, diced
Tomato paste or pasta sauce

1.       Sauté onions over medium heat
2.      When onions are almost brown add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds
3.       Add  liver and brown
4.      Add eggplant, tomato paste/pasta sauce, paprika and salt
5.      Cover and cook until done, about 20 minutes


  1. Finally!! Someone who likes to write recipes with no specific measurements and to cook with a feel for the end result. We have something in common :)

  2. I had liver and eggplant in my fridge...I am so happy somebody before me thought for putting this together. So, as crazy as this combination sounds- I am confident the end result will be just fine :0) Thank you for sharing!

  3. Oh..the only thing is liver takes only 5-7 minutes to cook and eggplant much longer. I would add eggplant first and than once you are only 5 minutes away- add liver, so it doesn't turn into rubber.

    1. Hi Tatyana, good point. Personally I prefer my liver to be well done but I understand most people probably prefer it to be slightly pink. Adding a bit later will do the trick, good suggestion, thanks.
      Enjoy the dish.


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