9.29.2011

Fancy Eggplant and Tomato Salad

The eggplant is an underappreciated vegetable, or should I say fruit. I think it is because it is modest and unassuming, dark and pudgy. It doesn’t grab your attention like an artichoke or crave the spotlight like sleek asparagus. It’s just there waiting to fulfill your needs and you take it for granted.  I bet the only recipe you know for eggplant is Eggplant Parmigianino, or maybe Baba Ghanoush. (If you’re related to me you don’t count.) Shame Shame. I have heard it been called “the poor man’s meat” and the “poor man’s caviar” and who wants to be known as the poor man’s anything? Now, I understand that eggplant may not be fancy but I am pretty sure it has sustained entire continents when times got tough. Any honey, times are tough, it’s a double dip recession out there, do you know what that means?? Well, me either. All I know is I have been eating a lot of eggplant lately and it’s not just because I love it. It’s because it is nutrient dense and hearty, absorbs the flavor you give it really well and is cheap. So head down to your local farmer’s market and show your eggplant a little love. Light some candles, buy some flowers put on a sappy movie, do something nice for yourself. You deserve it. 
I bought myself a $3 Ginger Ale and some Chocolate Cosmos They're super fancy and they smell like chocolate.  Want to know something weird about Eggplant? They naturally have nicotine in them. So if you want to quit smoking you could just eat like 20 eggplants and that would be the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.
Ok, ok, I’m getting to the point. I promise.

Here is another recipe to add to your eggplant repertoire.
Toast 1TS. Each Fennel, Cumin and Caraway Seeds in a little Olive Oil. They will start releasing their oils and becoming very fragrant when they are ready. Add 1 Chopped Red Onion and 4 Cloves Chopped Garlic. Sautee on low heat until onions are translucent. Add 1 Eggplant chopped, 1 Tomato diced and 2 TB. Tomato Paste.


You may need to add a little more olive oil at this point in order to coat the vegetables you just added. Cover the pan. This is a very important step because the eggplant and tomato will release a lot of water in the cooking process and you want to keep that in the dish and not just let it steam off somewhere.  Let cook for about 15 minutes. Check to see if it needs more liquid and that the ingredients are getting all mushy and incorporated. (Did I just say Mushy and Incorporated in the same sentence, what is wrong with me?) If they are mix and add ½ cup chopped Parsley, Salt & Pepper and cover for ten more minutes.  

Done! You could scoop this up with some Arabic bread, serve it on top of rice or on toasted baguette like bruschetta if you are fancy. Plus you could just call it an Aubergine because that sounds so much fancier than Eggplant.
You could also add this to our Moroccan Appetizer list it’s the perfect dish to complete a trio of deliciousness. Moroccan Carrot Salad and Herb Jam.

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