Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aubergine










 It's August, and I live in the Garden State, so one would think finding an edible eggplant would be a no-brainer. Evidently not unless one goes to one particular farmer's market on the one day of the week that it is open. And this was not that day. So when John suggested grilled eggplant for dinner, my hopes were not high. When I ran into the market for some chicken, I walked down the vegetable aisle and there they were--a jewel-like mound of eggplants with unblemished, smooth, tight skin. Finally.

On the drive home, I was thinking of grilling some red peppers and zucchini along with the eggplant and making a grilled ratatouille of sorts. But when my friend, L, stopped by with a container of tabbouleh for me to try, my mind quickly left Provence and landed right smack in the middle of the Mediterranean.
The red peppers were cut into quarters then anointed with olive olive before hitting the hot grill. While they were cooking, I took two huge cloves of elephant garlic, my young friend (L's daughter) brought to me from her garden in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, I placed them on a square of aluminum foil, drizzled them with olive oil, sealed the packet and placed them in a corner of the grill to roast and soften.
As I removed the peppers, I put them in a bowl, dotted them with a little olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a squirt of lemon juice. Each of these steps was repeated with the eggplant and the zucchini.
 As the vegetables cooled a bit, I removed the garlic cloves from their package and gently squeezed them from their shells mashing their creamy mellow goodness into a paste which I then placed in the bottom of a bowl with a little bit of olive oil and some salt.
The remaining vegetables were cut into large chunks and put in the bowl with the garlic dressing, tossing well to coat. All I needed now was a little more salt, some torn mint leaves and a squirt of lemon for brightness.
This is hearty and refreshing dish that could stand on its own with the addition of a sprinkling of feta cheese, but we it ate alongside grilled chicken.

Sunset as seen from the deck












12 comments:

  1. That soft, soft garlic and that charred aubergine are both making my mouth water and words have been found - brilliant.

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    1. Thanks,Kath. Words, yes--but very few. Hope springs.

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  2. That is one of my favorite veggies. Delicious food!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. what a gorgeous assembly of summer's best, char-grilled. glad you finally found the perfect eggplant--and how lucky to have elephant garlic to go accompany.

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  4. What delicious flavors. I also love the photo of sunset from your deck! Looks like good living!

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    1. Something as whimsical as those inexpensive lights, bring a smile to my face each night.

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  5. Oh my goodness this looks good. Your garlic close-up is fabulously yummy.

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  6. Michele: charring, caramelizing, grilling just-ripe summer vegetables... I can't think of a better way to make dinner on a summer night!!! Looks delicious (and agree with you: why is it so hard to find good eggplant?)

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  7. These hearty vegetables really are able to hold up to the charring--and taste so good.

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  8. I still haven't had eggplant this summer. I saw some today, but they were nowhere near as beautiful as those in your first image here.

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