March 22nd, 2013
I've never been a picky eater. Partly because picky eaters were not allowed in the house I grew up in and partly because there is just so much delicious food out there I don't want to miss. But eggplant, well eggplant never did it for me.
I always looked at it as the vegetarian's meat. And not being a vegetarian, I chose the actual meat. Eggplant sat there spongy and tasteless. Yes, eggplant parmesan is delicious, but if you accidentally breaded and fried your kitchen sponge, then doused it in tomato sauce, it might be delicious too.
This past year, I waged a food war with my pickiest eater, my youngest. I'm happy to say I won (and have been thinking of posting about it--would you be interested?) but part of the battle involved looking at the food I ate. Was I picky? I didn't think so, but I had fallen into a food rut. I bought the same things every week, so we ate some variation of the same things every week. I went out and bought 2 eggplants.
Then I had to figure out a way to cook them. I found a good recipe, messed with it a bit, and have made it at least ten times. I eat eggplant--willingly! This eggplant is smoky and bold, bright and fresh, a little winter-y and a little spring-y. It is lovely warm, but equally as good cold. Can you tell I love it? I love it even more the next day with a fried egg on top.
smokey, roasted eggplant
adapted from this recipe on the kitchn
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika (don't substitute regular paprika, go get the smoked stuff)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional, but good)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 cup flat parsley leaves, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F
- Cut the eggplant into cubes (1 inch or so) and sprinkle with the salt
- Whisk the oil, vinegar, paprika, cumin, and maple syrup together
- Add the garlic and the eggplant.
- Mix everything up and spread it out on one sheet pant (it looks like a lot for one sheet pan, but the eggplant shrinks considerably)
- Put it in the oven for 1 hour--stirring now and then. Really it can stay in for even longer, it just gets better.
- When the eggplant is done, take it out and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the top.
- Stir in the parsley and eat!