Eggplant-Tomato Tartare

Just another fun way to serve up eggplant, fresh and simple. Because it’s got to be cooked, eggplant tends to get weighed down in heavier preparations — parm, or an Asian stir-fry with lots of gloppy brown sauce. But I love just roasting a skinny eggplant half, face down like a spear, and eating it straight-up like that afterwards, soft and gooey inside. This was more or less what I did for cooking demonstrations two weekends ago at New York … Read More

Chilled Eggplant Soup

Some of you guys are gonna say off the bat, I don’t like eggplant. And hey, that’s okay. They’re squishy, mushy, weird and hard to pinpoint the taste of. But I’ll bet if I gave you this soup and didn’t tell you what was in it (roasted eggplant), you’d slurp it to no satisfaction’s end. It’s smooth, creamy, cold and intensely flavorful. And sometimes, a little mystery only helps the effect.

Spaghetti e Fagioli (with some eggplant on the side)

The problem with soaking dried beans, which isn’t a probably exactly, and wouldn’t be one in the first place if you’re a little better at stomach-eye coordination as I am, is that you’re usually left with far more beans than you had bargained for. Water plumps up the beans, sometimes creating pot overflows and dried, un-soaked portions at the top. (It’s a bit like planting a magic beanstalk, with less fees, fies, foes and fums.) Ever since the Cassoulet Cook-Off, … Read More

Roasted Eggplant BLT with Roasted Red Pepper Mayo

posted in: Grains, Recipes | 11

To repeat a joke my brother once made when I was in the same situation, I’ve got a lot of thyme on my hands. Fresh thyme. Which means it’s going bad soon. It took a while for me to place why I’d gotten the large stash of spindles tucked away in my crisper drawer (oh right, those squash-stuffed Jamaican-style patties) today. I’ve got a lot of the dried kind, too. If only time were as plentiful as my thyme, then … Read More

Fried Green Eggplant with Peach Salsa

posted in: Recipes | 17

This weekend, I had the pleasure of running into not one but two different old roommates of mine, whom I haven’t seen in ages and didn’t even realize lived in the city in one case. I know these women intimately, but for some stupid reason have fallen out of touch with them over the years. Now, we didn’t romp around in flour, or kill our abusive husbands with frying pans like the protagonists in Fried Green Tomatoes. But I was … Read More

Obama Rolls

The rest of the city may have largely moved on, but I still can’t decide between Hillary and Obama. It’s like deja-vu, back to being a kid in the candy store. I’m standing there scratching my head and weighing a Mars Bar and a Milky Way in each hand, while the rest of the kids have scampered outside, chomping away on their selections. The problem is, there is little difference between a Mars Bar and a Milky Way, just the … Read More

Baba Ghanoush: Eggplant Mush

I find it no coincidence that so many cultures like to tame eggplant by beating them to a pulp. My run-in with not-so-well-cooked eggplant earlier this summer has put me off the poisonous plants for a little while, but I’m not calling it quits just yet. Baba ghanoush, eggplant “caviar,” so to speak, has been enjoyed throughout Middle Eastern, North African and Eastern European cuisines for many centuries before peasant food became chic. They must know what they’re doing.

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