Monday, July 25, 2011

My Summer of Eggplant, and a Mini-Prep

I'm in love with eggplants.
At times, I have despised them because they made the inside of my mouth itchy. I think they just weren't cooked well enough.
There is no al dente eggplant!
We have two cooking techniques that work great. You can slice and lightly oil the stuff, and roast it the oven until it gets soft. That's nice if you already have the oven going. The other way is to hitch a ride on the grill when you are burning meat outdoors. Leave it whole, unpeeled, and stab a few fork holes in it. Let it go until you can easily slide a knife all the way through. If you take the meat off the grill, you can now put the lid on, and roasting will happen quickly.
We used the grill for this charming eggplant caviar. The recipe from the Silver Spoon is SO simple. It is like a gift to be informed by an authority that good food is simple. Sigh. A little salt and pepper, a gludge of olive oil and a squirt of lemon.
It was too hard to use a potato masher on, so I whirled it in my new mini-prep. That thing is magic! Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to lug around. My new favorite thing.
Oh, don't forget the buttered toast. The Silver Spoon said so.

14 comments:

Kate said...

You forgot to mention the garlic, right? I mean, there just HAS to be garlic in anything so very summery, veggy, puree-y.

Greg said...

Buttered toast...classy. My bride would love this.

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: No! No garlic this time, but now that I have a technique, I'm going to start working on variations, yes I am.

Greg: So comfort-classy. Hey, get your bride a mini-prep. Cuisinart's is under $40. I love it!

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

Garlic and a little lemon juice to brighten everything up! (I also add a handful of chopped parsley).

Did you see Bloomberg's response to the lack of big gov't working together? This whole thing is getting beyond ridiculous! Don't even get me started on world events...

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Buttered toast with anything is brill, with eggplant, #nomitynomnom

cookiecrumb said...

Little Pots: Well, I am still learning. I feel I've developed an all-purpose bread dough, for pitas, baguettes, pizza... I'll just keep exploring.
Bloomberg; No, I was just aware of him officiating at a wedding for two of his aides at Gracie Mansion, and that was happy.

cookiecrumb said...

I HATE THE NEWS. OH BOY.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: And to have a well-regarded cookbook TELL you to eat buttered toast? It was liberating, and nommity.

Hungry Dog said...

Love eggplant. Husband doesn't. So, not a lot of eggplant eating in this house. A little though--and next time I might do it your way.

bewitchingkitchen.com said...

I once made a similar spread (in the oven) and used it to top a homemade pizza dough, with smoked mozarella, feta cheese crumbles and red bell pepper strips (roasted kind)

my gosh, it was good....

EB of SpiceDish said...

I was never a fan of eggplant until I ate at Nomber the other night. Grilled eggplant (perfect texture) one covered in sweet miso, the other in spicy and sprinkled with sesame seed. Amazing.

cookiecrumb said...

Dog: Eggplant is creepy, probably an acquired taste. And that stupid name? Heh. He'd probably like a gentle, texture-free preparation like this. Not too thickly slathered. Good luck.

Bewitch: Awesome! Lots of flavors. I love the feta, thanks.

EB: Wow. I love your Nomber number. Miso? It would have taken me months or years to think of that. And grilled! Little brown stripes, sweet.

kudzu said...

How about some of that caviar in a mini-pita with a dab of good yogurt and maybe....snipped dill? mint? cilantro? (Whatever fits the mood.)

Isn't the mini-prep the greatest toy?

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Oh, that sounds delicious. We have a little left over; it could use being "stretched."
That mini-prep! It's astonishingly utile. Better than a blender, where you keep scraping down and adding liquid. This was Pixar good!