As well as attempting to try new beloved recipes this autumn, I put “Do something with eggplant” on my list of things to try. You can read more about my autumn list here.
Eggplant is one of those vegetables I loathed as a child. Shiny and sinister looking, their heft is light beyond their size. Slimy and bitter and neither egg nor plant, this weird looking vegeta-fruit was not a friend of mine. I hated mushrooms – which I adore now, courgettes (zucchini) – which I also love now. Over the summer, eggplant made appearances at a few BBQ feasts and I let my guard down. Maybe it was time to be a grown-up and try eggplant again. I decided to cook with eggplant for the first time ever.
Maybe I should have introduced it slowly, as a minor part of a meal, rather than diving in and making it the star of the show. We had two eggplants and ate them with an orzo salad.
I picked yellow and red tomatoes and rosemary from the garden, added them to an oven proof dish, added some chopped capsicum, seasoned with salt and pepper generously, tossed with oil and roasted for about 40 minutes in a hot, hot oven. Left to cool and stirred into cooked orzo with chopped spinach and a dollop of basil pesto. This was easy and simple. The eggplant I also oiled, seasoned and roasted on a rack in a hot, hot oven for 40 minutes. Plated up with a wedge of lemon, it looked pretty enough.
The orzo salad was good. The eggplant…was ok. I didn’t mind it.
There are worse things and there are lovelier things to eat. The Koala (highly suspicious of vegetarian fare) left most of his eggplant on his plate so I probably won’t be cooking with eggplant again. At least not for another decade or so.
Hey, at least I tried. Again.