By Jess Zamora, Selby Deli Counter Supervisor
A few weeks ago if I had been asked what, if any, vegetables I did not like I would have given considerable pause. My initial answer would have been “Nothing!” but then I would have had to revise my answer as I remembered the existence of eggplant. So when I found out that my fiancé, Ben, and I would be receiving eggplant in our next CSA shipment, I was worried. I don’t like to let vegetables rot in my refrigerator but it seems that this was to be the fate of our future eggplant.
Ben was undeterred, although he had also admitted to not enjoying my vegetable nemesis. He promised that he would make something out of it that I would be able to eat. I went to the dinner table skeptical but open minded and I was rewarded with what I can only describe as a food revelation. There sat before me these beautiful disks, rimmed in black purple and golden brown on both sides. I tried one and it was not at all the spongy mush that I had expected. It was a crispy, smoky, cumin-scented piece of heaven.
Ben had made good on his promise and I have now finally made peace with eggplant. Just in time too, because it seems that there will be a local bumper crop of eggplant this year because of our hot and humid summer. If you’ve struggled with a similar dislike and are wary of the impending glut of purple orbs, I’ll share the recipe that Ben created for me and perhaps you might also be able to reconcile with the strange vegetable that is eggplant.
2-3 medium sized eggplants
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Smoked sea salt, to taste
Cumin, to taste
- Cut eggplant in to ¼” disks, or slightly thicker
- Drizzle a hot skillet with olive oil and place disks on skillet.
- Drizzle olive oil over eggplant. Sprinkle on smoked salt and cumin being sure to give a nice coating to each disk (don’t overdo the salt!).
- Flip eggplant and sprinkle on a little more smoked salt and cumin.
- Cook until both sides are evenly browned and eggplant’s spongy consistency has softened.