Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In Which a Miracle Occurs

I had a spectacular weekend.  My uncle and cousin came to visit, drawn in by the siren lure of an adorable baby.  I swear, if I'd known how much more often people would visit me, I would have had one years ago!  Ever the gracious hostess, I planned to take my guests out to dinner on Saturday and for Friday night, I expected them to cook for me.  Well, I expected my uncle to cook for me anyway.  He made an absolutely delicious roast chicken which I will try to replicate at some point, some lemony roast broccoli, but most miraculously, he made delicious eggplant.

My friends, there are exactly two vegetables I do not eat: zucchini and eggplant.  Zucchini is pretty much the food of the devil, but eggplant and I have a very touchy relationship.  I want to like it.  I really do.  I've never really minded the flavor, but for whatever reason, eggplant has always made me gag.  I've had it made in the Parmigiana style.  Nope, didn't work.  I've pureed it in pasta sauce, alas, a deep and thorough failure.  But the way my Uncle John made it was so tasty, I went back for a second piece.  That's right, I took seconds of my second most loathed vegetable.

Does that tell you everything you need to know about my uncle's cooking?  No?  You want the recipe too?  Okay!  I got it!  (Totally selfless I am, always thinking of you).


2 eggplants
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
2 T red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T of capers with juice
1/4 of a small red onion (optional - Uncle John was not pleased with how it turned out using the red onion, I think I liked it, but will try it without next time)

Slice your two eggplants into 1/2" thick slices.  Set your oven to broil.  Lay out the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and brush them with olive oil.  Flip them and brush the other side with olive oil.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Put in the oven to broil for 10 minutes.  Flip them and let them broil for 10 minutes on the other side.  Whilst they are broiling, find yourself a large serving dish with sides.  We used my lasagna pan.  Mix together your olive oil and red wine vinegar.   In the bottom of the pan, pour about 1/4 C of olive oil and the red wine vinegar  and sort of swish it about so it's evenly distributed.  When the eggplant is done, lay it out in the dish.  Add the garlic, capers and onion (if you use it) to the remaining oil and vinegar.  Drizzle this over the eggplant layer.  Add another layer of eggplant and pour over more of the good stuff.  Continue until eggplant is used up and all topping has been poured out.

Let marinate at room temperature for 6 hours.  Ours only sat for 4 hours and was delicious, but don't try to cut it any closer than that.  Uncle John says it's great for dinner parties, because you can make it in advance, but also it takes up no room in your fridge!

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