Green eggplant = shows improvement.

I still had four of those green bastards lurking in my house all this time. And they wouldn’t go bad, so I couldn’t justify throwing them away.  But, thanks to neighbor Eli, I had a much more awesome plan for attacking them and turning them into food. 

I cut Lam’s recipe in half except for the garlic.  I heated some smashed garlic cloves in the skillet in a bunch of olive oil, and then added in the eggplant that I’d sliced and salted down the day before. I let it heat and become translucent, and then I added 1/2 cup of water and covered it to let the eggplant soften and the liquid reduce. Early stages of cooking  smelled good, but did not look promising.

Visually, it got a little better when I stirred in the basil, sun-dried tomato, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water after I mashed the eggplant:

I drained the linguine, reserving the 1/4 cup of liquid to mix in with everything, which is not in the recipe but just a really good practice anytime you are making pasta.  The hot starch-water stirred into the sauce makes the flavors combine really well and gives the sauce a silkier texture.  I added a little olive oil to the drained pasta to keep it from sticking, and a little salt & pepper to make it taste good.  And then I tossed it with the sauce:

Now we’re talking.   I ate it with a little bit of fresh grated parmesan and a caprese salad.

The sauce is GREAT.  This is a great recipe.  It’s an inexpensive and quick weeknight dinner. It’s a “OH HAI, I am throwing together a little dinner party, can you stop by?  Sure, bring a bottle of whatever red you  have around,” dish.  If you leave out the parmesan, it will even feed vegans.

However, I recommend you make it with a purple eggplant, or a white eggplant, or anything but green eggplant, because in the final product the green stuff still carries some sharp not-quite-ripe flavor. I think if I’d made it with purple eggplant I would be crying right now.  They would be tears of joy, and also tears of feeling sick because I ate the whole pan.

Bonus Recipe:  Insalata Caprese

  • For every person, take 1 tomato, 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, and 2-3 leaves of fresh basil.  Leave the cheese out for a little while while you cook the rest of the meal so that it comes closer to room temperature.  You shouldn’t even be putting good fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator, so I won’t worry about that.
  • Slice the tomato and the cheese.
  • Layer:  1 slice of tomato, 1 slice of cheese, 1 leaf of basil…alternating until you run out of ingredients.
  • Mix a few drops of balsamic vinegar and olive oil together with a little sea salt.  Drizzle on salad.

This is an incredibly easy and obvious thing to make, and I can’t even really call it a recipe, except I’ll say that summer is the only time you want to eat this.  Ingredients matter.  You can’t dilly-dally with pale, weak grocery store tomatoes – don’t even bother.  But right now?  Yessssssss.

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2 responses to “Green eggplant = shows improvement.

  1. Looks quite tasty. I might just have to get around to making this myself now. And since the eggplant is smashed, I might even be able to get Rachael to try it. (Her big thing with eggplant is the texture.)

  2. Pingback: Lincoln Square Farmer’s Market « The Girl Who Ate Everything

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