eggplant mush

eggplantbaked eggplant

Hardly a glamorous name for a dish – actually it’s so unglamorous we sometimes forget how much we like this. A concoction we made up ourselves, it consists only of roasted eggplant, butter, and onions. There are all sorts of other things you could add, but somehow it never seems necessary. Its toasty sweetness goes perfectly alongside spicy Indian food or something simple like a pork chop, or with middle-eastern flavors like lamb kebabs and yogurt.

baked eggplant

Baked eggplant is a real revelation if you’ve never tried it. Once the insides are soft, they can be scooped out and added to all sorts of things. Baba ganoush is made this way, or you can stirfry the cooked eggplant with curry spices. It completely gets rid of the eggplant’s bitterness and spongy texture, leaving you with a dish that is both silky and sweet. It’s especially a good thing to do with the big purple grocery store eggplants when you can’t get fresh local ones – we find that the two of us can eat two eggplants very quickly this way.

eggplant mush

Eggplant Mush

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400°. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork, set them on a baking sheet (line it with foil to make cleanup easier) and bake until wrinkled and soft, 30-50 minutes depending on their size. Cut them open lengthwise and let cool slightly.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook slowly until soft and golden. Scrape the eggplant flesh out of its skin and add it to the onions. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant has broken down and incorporated with the onion – perhaps 20 minutes or so. Salt to taste and serve.

dinner

eggplant

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ugly soup

ugly soup

I’m fairly sure that this is the ugliest soup I have ever made or eaten. The good news is that looks aren’t everything; it was actually very tasty. It was a cunning use of leftovers: the fava bean puree from awhile back, mixed with plenty of garlicky chicken stock, some finely chopped ham and asparagus stems, and a fair quantity of frozen chopped spinach.

The final soup was savory and had a nice velvety mouthfeel. It also had a tendency to gel when chilled, which made for an unappetizing look straight out of the fridge, but a bit of whisking after reheating brought it right back. This would be a good soup to make with any sort of leftover bean puree, or with fresh split peas. It would also be splendid with sourdough croutons, I’m thinking.