Saturday, August 16, 2008
The exploration of eggplant as an ingredient continues. Co-worker (and sometimes co-conspirator) Stacey went to a farmer's market and bought a bevy of fresh fruits and vegetables so she invited me over for a veggie dinner on Thursday. Having never seen the prep for eggplant I arrived early enough to see the whole process. She cut quarter inch pieces of two medium eggplants (which was an impressive feat in and of itself - there was blood involved, but i'm pretty sure none got into the final dish) and salted them to draw out some excess moisture. I have read that salting is always the first step with eggplant, but it was cool to see it. If you look closely you can actually beads of moisture on the surfaces - ohhhhhh, osmosis... you're awesome: After the prep and baking of the eggplant, she built a lovely lasagna with it that had both red and white sauces and triple cheeses. Like all great lasagnas there was so much cheesy goodness that the first pieces did not hold firm layers when served, but frankly i couldn't wait until it cooled to take the picture - eating needed to commence! The side dish (which nicely matched the plate - extra points for that) was blanched hericot verts (french green beans which are smaller and sweeter) with chuncked tomatoes (they were mid-sized; maybe Romas... i forgot to ask) dressed with a basalmic vinaigrette. It was all ridiculously yummy. Now that i've eaten eggplant several times, the next step will be to try to prepare it myself. I'm not sure i am quite ready; perhaps someone else needs to cook more eggplant for me... volunteers? For dessert Stacey made peach cobbler which we ate while it was piping hot, with vanilla ice cream. (there are no pictures cause my bowl was consumed far too quickly to be captured) It was very, very good. I am generally a big fan of cobbler, struesel, brown betty-type dishes; how can you go wrong with fresh fruit, hot sugar and crumbley topping? Interestingly, peaches are this season's fruit-that-i-am-experimenting-with and Stacey didn't even know it. Way to work in not one but two trial ingredients! THANKS!