Makes enough for two with leftovers. Start by salting the eggplant, then soaking the bulgur, and then proceeding with the eggplant recipe while the bulgur soaks. Also, there's nothing magical about using bulgur here. Feel free to sub couscous or long-grain rice.
1 cup dry bulgur
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup frozen peas
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. chiffonade of fresh mint
Combine bulgur and water in a bowl and set aside to soak 30 minutes, or until tender. When the bulgur is ready, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet. When golden, remove and set aside. Add oil and garlic to the skillet and saute until the garlic just starts to color. Add the frozen peas, cover, and saute/steam about 5 minutes. Add in the bulgur, salt, and mint, and stir well to combine. Heat a few minutes together.
2 medium eggplants, cut in 1" cubes
1 small onion, sliced into 1/4" half moons
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. EACH: whole coriander (coarsely ground), whole cumin, whole black mustard seed
1/4 tsp. (or more depending on your heat tolerance and the strength of the peppers) chili flakes
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
Sprinkle the eggplant generously with salt and layer it in a colander. Set it aside (in the sink or over a plate) to let the salt pull out the bitterness. After 20-30 minutes, rinse the eggplant thoroughly and shake dry. Heat the oil in a 10- or 12-inch skillet. Saute the onion for 10-15 minutes until quite soft and starting to brown. Add the spices and stir well for 1-2 minutes as they fry with the onions. Add the eggplant, stir well to combine, and then cover. Saute/steam for 5-10 minutes at a time, then stir to keep the eggplant from sticking. After 20-30 minutes the eggplant should be quite soft, browned in many places, and just barely holding together. Add the parsley, salt to taste, and set aside while you assemble the plates.
4 medium radishes
1 small cucumber
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Slice the radishes and a similar amount of cucumber as thinly as you can. Also cut two thin slices from the cut side of the lemon, then cut the rest of the lemon into halves (roughly 1/4 lemon each). Circle the rim of each plate with alternating radish and cucumber slices. Arrange a ring of roughly 1-1/2 cups pilaf just inside the slices. Fill the ring with a cup or more of eggplant. Squeeze a quarter lemon over each plate, including the border. Drizzle a quick ring of olive oil around the border and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish the center of the plate with the lemon slice.