September 24, 2012
Sometimes I am not easy to live with.
I can be incredibly bossy, defensive, and quick to judge. I like to leave cabinets open and used teabags in the sink. I get really attached to my idea of how I think things should be; I over-schedule; I make big messes in the kitchen when I cook.
Somehow, Jill is tolerant of all of these things, an incredibly loving and patient spouse who good-naturedly handles all that comes with me. Recently, though, she got a little more insistent about one of my particularly frustrating habits: “Do you have to bake so much?”
This may not seem like the kind of thing a spouse would gripe about, but when you are trying to be healthy (as we are), my proclivity to bake/issue a dessert for any occasion can get in the way. Jill & I are different in almost every way, but we share at least one trait; if baked goods are present, we will eat them. So, in an attempt to support us both, I’m trying to make “good” stuff and only bake for special occasions.
Last night I even did something I did not think was possible—I made and thoroughly enjoyed a meal that contained no pasta, grain, bread, noodle, or potato. I know, right? I’m very proud of myself. Along with a stir-fry of ground pork, celery, leeks, & snow peas (served on its own), we enjoyed this Asian-style eggplant so much that Jill gamely salvaged our leftovers into the lovely photographs you see here. “I think this is my favorite way to eat eggplant ever,” she said. That good AND good for us; we had to share.
ROASTED EGGPLANT SALAD
from Melissa Clark
I’m realizing that not everyone may still have access to the wonderfully sweet, late summer/early fall cherry tomatoes that we do. If you can’t find any, I think this salad would still be delicious without them, or you might try some sweet peppers instead, tossed into the oven for the last few minutes to roast alongside the eggplant.
1 large eggplant, sliced into wedges
¼ cup peanut or canola oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced (or substitute a bit of minced white onion)
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. rice wine or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. (or more) Sriracha—I used homemade
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
On a baking sheet, toss the eggplant with generous amounts of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. Roast until tender, approximately 25-30 minutes.
While the eggplant is in the oven, whisk together the dressing: oils, scallions, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, & vinegar.
Using tongs, transfer the roasted eggplant to a platter; sprinkle tomatoes on top. Pour the dressing on top, garnishing with torn basil leaves.