Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Aug 5, 2006 at 10:57am

It’s going to be a Very Veggie weekend. Just look at this stuff! How fabulously obscene is that eggplant? When I pulled it out of the box from my CSA veggie share, I laughed loudly enough to distract John from his very serious phone call and make him smile. No joke even needed what with that thing in my hands! It’s already peeled, sliced, salted, and draining in a colander. After about an hour or so, I’ll rinse it, squeeze out the excess moisture, and brown it in olive oil. Topped with sauteed garlic and fresh tomatoes, it will make a fantastic meatless dinner tonight (recipe posted in comments, below). Alongside pasta with pesto – I also got a big bunch of basil, so I’ll puree it with olive oil and garlic. I don’t add cheese to the puree so that I can use it as a marinade for meat and fish as well as a sauce for pasta and vegetables. When I toss it with hot pasta, then I add the cheese. Works like a charm.

The fried eggplant is incredible. Piled on a couple of thin slices of stale baguette, it made a yummy little late-afternoon snack. Now it’s time for a long, warm, post-swim shower, followed by padding back out here to finish making din…

John, A, and I had a lovely dinner together, pasta in chicken noodle soup for A, pasta with pesto and eggplant for John and me. Mmmm…. Man it was nice to not go to a baseball game today. A real Saturday, reading, swimming, cooking, listening to tunes. NICE!

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  1. By Stephanie on August 9, 2006 at 1:31PM

    Eggplant with Tomato & Garlic Sauce
    Adapted from a recipe by Ayla Algar in Fine Cooking Magazine
    Serves 4

    1 medium globe eggplant (about 1 ¼ lb.)
    olive oil for frying
    1 ½ lbs. sweet, ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 3 c.)
    1 heaping tsp. minced garlic
    2 ½ tsp. red-wine vinegar

    Fry the eggplant: Peel the eggplant and remove the stem. Slice the eggplant just thicker than ¼ inch. Sprinkle generously with salt and let stand in a colander for about 1 hour. Rinse the eggplant thoroughly and firmly squeeze each slice dry, patting with paper towels. In a large skillet over high heat, warm about ½ c. olive oil until very hot. Fry the eggplant slices a single layer at a time until brown on both sides, 1-2 minutes per side; use more oil if needed. Drain on paper towels.

    Make the sauce: Discard the oil from the pan and wipe it clean. Warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with a little salt; simmer, mashing the tomatoes with a fork, until they form a sauce and are no longer liquidy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and vinegar; remove from the heat.

    Fan the eggplant slices ona platter and coat with the tomato sauce. Let cool. Serve at room temperature, or chill and serve cold. Can be prepared one day ahead.

    Delicious alongside eggs, chicken, fish, or as a meatless main course alongside pasta or rice. Very pretty on a buffet.