Other than a particular dip that my mom makes with onion, garlic, and roasted eggplant, I’ve never been a fan of the purple vegetable. And who knows – maybe all these years, the only real reason I like her dip is because she serves it on Ritz Crackers. “Everything’s better on a Ritz,” right?
It’s in season, though, so a lot of my wonderful blogger cohorts are posting some fabulous looking eggplant recipes. And the latest issue of EveryDay Food arrived, which showcases it, too. All the beautiful pictures and fantastic descriptions wore me down. I decided to rethink my distaste.
I went with this one recipe, since Martha rarely disappoints. The prep turned out to be super easy, with just a few simple ingredients, and it sure smelled good cooking. And the first bite? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Sweet and buttery. Not bitter at all.
I took another bite. And another. Then decided that I better share.
I started distributing spoonfuls. Paul didn’t care for it. (Not surprised.) And Haley spit it out. (Whatever.) Trevor, on the other hand, loved it, displaying the “more” sign frantically. But his belly could only hold a cup full.
I shoveled one more helping in my mouth, which left me with a perfect amount for lunch the next day. Except then…I ate a little more. And at this point, it seemed silly to save such a small portion.
So I finished it off.
Yes, that’s right. None of it ever left the mixing bowl. I stood there at the kitchen counter, spoon in hand, and polished off the entire amount. The entire amount. I was so full, I didn’t even touch the pita bread I had planned on serving with it.
Serves 4? Hmm. Not this time.
Eggplant and Basil with Israeli Couscous
Prep time: 25 minutes
• 3/4 cup Israeli (pearl size) couscous
• salt and pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 3 shallots, trimmed and quartered
• 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
• 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn
In a small saucepan, combine couscous, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, stir once, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the couscous is tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Add eggplant and shallots and stir to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until shallots are caramelized and eggplant is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
In a serving bowl, combine eggplant mixture and couscous. Stir in vinegar and basil and season salad with salt and pepper.
(originally from Everyday Food)