I’m sitting here by myself on a chilly, gray afternoon wearing an ugly blue sweater over a long white men’s tee-shirt and black stretch pants. I didn’t exercise this morning, so I feel as fuzzy as my giant pink socks.
My hair is in a ponytail, I have my glasses on, and I’m eating chocolate covered peanuts.
Just want you to have that visual.
I’m sort of freaking out about the holidays. What to bake, buy, wear. Should I send holiday cards? Freeze cookie dough soon? Organize an office party? I mean, it will be December in like, ten minutes.
I think I’ll have a beer now.
Or the leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge. Or both.
Thankfully, there’s still some warm autumnal weather, and lots of wonderful eggplant and colored peppers to buy at the market. If you’ve ever resisted eggplant, you should give it a try. Just please go get some.
The Japanese variety of eggplant is long, thin and elegant. It begs to be marinated and sautéed in olive oil, sprinkled with flake sea salt, lemon pepper, thin slices of fresh Anaheim chili and bright green herbs.
You could stop right there and just file this one under “good vegetable side dishes.”
Let’s take it a step further and serve it warm with a smear of Greek yogurt, toasted pine nuts and a glug of fruity olive oil, another pinch of flake sea salt and a little squeeze of fresh lemon, and NOW….well, now you’ve got a really delicious light vegetarian meal.
“Yummers” as my Mother would say. Though she hates eggplant with all her heart and would never in a million years let it pass through her lips. But that’s another story.
JAPANESE EGGPLANT WITH YOGURT AND CHILI
6-8 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/2 ” thick, about 6 cups total
2 red Anaheim chili’s, sliced thin
1/3 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. flake sea salt
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 tbsp. sunflower or olive oil for skillet
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or other thick yogurt)
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
Fresh thyme, about 3 sprigs with stems removed, plus another sprig or two for serving
2 tbsp. fresh chopped flat leaf parsley, for serving
Olive oil and pinch (1/8 tsp) flake sea salt, for serving
A light sprinkle of fresh squeezed lemon (just before serving)
Cast iron skillet (or any heavy bottom skillet)
Add sliced eggplant, chili and onion in a medium bowl. Add the 1/2 cup olive oil and, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and salt pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat the ingredients and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Heat the sunflower (or olive) oil in the skillet, add the eggplant mixture in one even layer without crowding. Do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet, adding a bit more sunflower or olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Let the mixture cook in the skillet, undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or when the outer edges are nicely browned. Turn with tongs on the other side, and continue cooking and turning until the eggplants are toasted and light brown.
Put the batches together in a bowl and add the fresh parsley and thyme. Toss very lightly to coat. Squeeze with a bit of fresh lemon juice, about one teaspoon.
Plate with a smear of Greek yogurt, then eggplant mixture, then a drizzle of olive oil, then pine nuts. You can do this on one platter for a family-style situation or on individual plates, which will make about 4-6 servings. This recipe is easy to half or double.
Source: Studio Delicious