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Summer Eggplant and Tomato "Sandwich"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer is around, and with everything blooming, growing and producing, one  longs for something right from the garden.  Eggplant is one of these fruit of agricultural  labour that is particularly good during summer time. Winter eggplant that is grown and forced to produce fruit artificially, has a bitter taste and requires special handling, hence more time for preparation.
This eggplant recipe is one of the simplest and doesn't require chef's skills, just good products, a sharp knife, and 15-20 minutes of your time.

What you need:
1 medium eggplant, sliced in rounds 1/3" thick
3 medium tomatoes, sliced in circles 1/3" thick
7 cloves garlic, dill (or celery), chopped finely together
Sea salt (or any good salt)
Black pepper (optional)
Olive oil

Method:
Heat nonstick skillet (crucial here!) on medium heat, add 2 tb spoons of oil, and fry eggplant rounds on both sides. Eggplant will absorb oil like a sponge, so do not hurry to add more oil. While it is frying on one side, press it with fork rather strongly, and the oil will show through. Then turn over and fry on other side. Prepare a serving dish or a few plates. It could be served on a big dish or you could arrange it in portions and decorate with greens to your liking.
When eggplant is soft and cooked through, transfer rounds one by one onto the dish, sprinkle with salt.  Then start to fry tomatoes. I wouldn't even call it frying, since the point here is to just warm them through. Place tomato rounds on eggplant one by one, sprinkle with salt. Nicely arrange garlic and dill mixture on top, and drizzle with the best olive oil you can get. You could pepper tomatoes, but to me it is good as it is.
A portion could be as small as one eggplant round or as big as you wish. This wonderful vegetable is one of my favorites, so I can gobble up all of them!
This looks like my portion ... :)
Notes:
This basic eggplant recipe gives a lot of food for imagination. You can experiment endlessly with greens mixture: choose different greens, add cayenne, mix it with mayonnaise or sour cream, sprinkle with grated cheese, put it on a toast, etc., etc., etc.
I would recommend to serve it warm as a nice beginning of your summer meal.
Winter eggplant should be freed of bitter taste before cooking. The easiest way is to slice it and sprinkle with coarse salt in layers in a colander. It will release juices, and the bitterness will go with it. Then I just squeeze slices in my hands and after that cook it. This way you will not get rounds - they will be all distorted, so today's recipe of mine is specific for summer time. Enjoy!

1 comment:

levitating_cat said...

Mmm... mom, I wish I were home gobbling this with just as much happiness!

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