Eggplant Archive

Monday, July 9, 2007

ratatouille’s ratatouille

ratatouille's ratatouille

Tell me I’m not alone in this: You saw Ratatouille, fell in love with Remy (though you still jumped a foot in the air when you saw a significantly less-charming rodent scamper across your path on the way home) and found yourself with a pressing craving, not for the heavy and too-often soggy traditional Provençal ratatouille, but that kaleidoscope of spiraled colors they served to the haughty and (spoiler!) soon-humbled restaurant critic.

I can’t believe how well this worked out. I also can’t believe I cooked a cartoon dish created by an imaginary rat. But I can believe I’ll be making this again tomorrow, because it’s delicious, seasonal, and an incredible cinch to make.

uncooked

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, March 15, 2007

mediterranean eggplant and barley salad

mediterranean eggplant and barley salad

I don’t know if the name for this affliction is procrastination–hey, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least, she says, eyeing the sinkful of last night’s dishes–but when I need to get things done, I have this bad habit of doing them either right-that-very-moment or pretty much never. When I return from a vacation, I either get every single thing out of that suitcase and into its proper closet or hamper within twenty minutes, or it sits on the floor of the bedroom for weeks, as it has since we’ve returned from Charleston. I return a garment I’ve changed my mind about the very next day, or it sits in a bag, as has a certain Banana Republic blouse, for six (cough, eight) months, my husband looking pointedly at it and then back at me often enough that I just downright ignore that too. Once something leaves my short-term memory, it may as well be lost for good, but in recipes at least, today I am on a rescue mission.

mediterranean eggplant and barley salad

You know, I’ve never been one to malign vegetables or healthy food, but I think that’s exactly what’s happened here. I don’t dive into posts about them the way I do with cakes, frosted, sprinkled, rolled, yeasted, basted, braised and pressed things; the more everyday stuff always ends up backlogged, and then accidentally forgotten. And it’s a shame, because if I had more of this Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad right now, I’d eat it for lunch and then dinner again.

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, July 15, 2006

thai vegetable and smoky eggplant salad

thai vegetable and smoky eggplant salad

I blame the ubiquitous sandwich shop offering for vegetarians, “roasted fall vegetable wrap, coated with gobs of salad oil and not a droplet of originality” (fine, I’ve embellished that last part), for the fact that until two years ago I ate not a lick of eggplant. That, and eggplant parmesan, but my rant about melted cheese-coated things – and my husband’s baffled expression when he learned of this blasphemy – for another time.

Eggplant was grey, flat, dull, mushy, and jumped from undercooked to overcooked so rapidly, you’d need a compass and a jewelers loupe to locate its fleeting tasteful moment. I lacked both, as did apparently everyone who had every tried to change my beliefs about the mighty aubergine, that is everyone except the woman who was to become my mother-in-law.

Her eggplant caviar is like a shot of espresso for the tastebuds with copious amounts vinegar, garlic and salt stealing the show, while the eggplant hangs out in the background, keeping it real. It is both nutty and neutral and full of substance, and that’s the kind of eggplant I can get really along with.

zesting the lemon

Continued after the jump »