Eggplant: I’m So Happy to Meat You

About three months ago, Dave and I decided we needed to eat more vegetables, and less meat. Easier said then done. Many of the chefs I admire make meat a prevalent (and central) part of their recipes. To really eat more vegetables, as said in theater-speak, vegetables must take on the starring role, and not that of a mere extra. This meant turning to vegetarian cookbooks for a change. When I read an article on London’s Ottolenghi, my interest was piqued by the unusual partnership of the chefs: Yotam Ottolenghi was born on the Jewish side of Jerusalem and Sami Tamimi, also from Jerusalem, is Palestinian. The photography of their cookbook, made up of Middle-Eastern influenced vegetarian cuisine, is lovely, and luckily for me, a mysterious happy elf Dave secretly ordered it up.

Eggplant is a very meaty vegetable, which makes it deeply satisfying dish if served with little else. I tried out this recipe from Plenty (as seen on the cover above), and served it with soup. Plenty has a whole section devoted to eggplant, for all the aubergine fans out there…

Slice, score, roast, at 400 for 45 minutes, cool, and then add the buttermilk-yogurt sauce (9 tbsp buttermilk, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove crushed garlic). Instead of pomegranate who can stand taking the time to pick all those damn seeds out, I topped the eggplant with diced flat-leaf parsley, and supplemented a tsp of za’tar with 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp oregano.

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