Dinner tonight is just for me and the kids so I’m making a classic that everyone loves with a little something extra for me.
I love eggplant. I haven’t always – I hadn’t even tasted it until I was a teenager. In high school, I became a vegetarian and started experimenting with recipes. The first time I tried eggplant, it was terrible. I made some kind of casserole that completely ruined eggplant for me.
It wasn’t until I lived in Japan where they would bake the eggplant in a miso sauce that I truly understood how delicious eggplant could be. I haven’t found a good recipe to replicate the eggplant I had there. Any ideas?
As for the kids, my daughter recently came around to liking eggplant but it’s still on my son’s yucky list. That’s okay – he’s still developing his taste!
I got my recipes today from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Dishes from the Healthiest Region Under the Sun. I find Donna Klein’s recipes to be excellent. The eggplant spread is her Provencal Eggplant Caviar (roasted eggplant and onion with olive oil, lemon juice, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar – I left out the raw garlic and cayenne pepper for the kids). And the focaccia is her recipe too (Classic Focaccia with Rosemary, Olive Oil and Coarse Salt).
The tomato sauce is my own. Recipe as follows:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 chopped orange bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
I fried the garlic and pepper in the oil until they were browned. I then added the balsamic vinegar to deglaze before adding the rest of the ingredients. I simmered for about 30 minutes. Once it had thickened, I pureed it with my immersion blender to make a smooth sauce – that’s how my kids prefer their tomato sauce.
The kids might not like the eggplant spread but I know they’ll devour the focaccia and spaghetti with tomato sauce.