Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meatless Week: An update on that eggplant.

On Sunday, I finally confronted the eggplant I'd bought a whole week before. (Which were still good - yay for long-keeping veggies!) Thanks to my resourceful readers and Facebook friends, I had a ton of ideas for how to tackle the stuff, and decided to do a completely bastardized caponata and mix it with the remaining fresh fettuccine and, of course, to finish things off with a dollop of mascarpone.

I gently sauteed some white onion and a healthy amount of garlic, until the onion was translucent and the garlic golden. Then I added the diced eggplant (about 3/4 inch dice, peels and seeds included) and a touch of tomato paste. Once that had a chance to work, in went some halved cherry tomatoes, a bit of basil and a little sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan. Last, but certainly not least, I added a smattering of capers, which gave the finished dish a wonderful salty nuttiness.

No recipe here; I didn't really track ingredient proportions or timing, but I can tell you this: eggplant is a lot tastier and easier than I remembered. It will definitely be on my shopping list this weekend.


Eddie Howard said...

That looks great! Did you salt the eggplant prior to cooking it to let the excess liquid drain or cook it as is?

Meg Blocker said...

Thanks, Eddie!

I went as-is...I figured the liquid would help the sauce, but the eggplant actually ended up being fairly dry, as far as eggplant goes. I actually had to add some cooking water into the mix.

Miles said...

I was in a cooking class in Italy a few years ago and the nona of the establishment who was making Melanzane Parmiggiana said the secret to this dish was in the type of the eggplant. The big fat ones were no good for frying because they were full of water and would go soggy. However, the long thin ones (Japanese egglants I think) were desirable because they had less water in them and tended to be starchier. She fried a piece of the big fat eggplant so we could see the difference and it was indeed mushy and yucky...It was the Sbarro equivalent of the thin eggplant's Otto pizzeria.

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