Monday, September 14, 2009

Eggplant, Pretty on the Inside

Can you see why kids may not like eggplant? It sorta looks like vomit:
And it's purple on the outside. And it's a vegetable. That's weird. But like Mom always said, it's what's on the inside that counts.
But this eggplant marked the return of something beautiful: Monday nights. I like to think of myself as crazy and adventurous. But I love my routine. I must have it. Let me explain an insight to Lainey. About a year ago, Megan gave me this Meyers Briggs book about personality types. I'm an ENFJ--extrovert, intuitive, feeler, judger--yes that's right, judger--I'm probably judging you right now. The J part of me has lists and schedules. The J part of me gets annoyed when Travis comes into my cubicle with an invite to sushi that day--"But I already brought a turkey sandwich." My J squirms when my boss cancels Wednesday meetings half an hour before they start. But my N gets excited about sushi and exploring new things and is laid back about last minute changes. If you're me, you're constantly wanting to do crazy things but have a serious conversation with yourself about the pros and cons--the con being: It's not on the schedule! Just this morning I battled out whether or not to go to Gerda's for coffee and a doughnut. I went. They were closed. Should have listened to the J, but the N shrugs its shoulders and eats a scone. You do not want to be in my head. So Monday nights are for the J. I come home from work, go for a run, make dinner and watch Gossip Girl. Every. Monday. Night. Except last night I did something crazy and rode my bike to the Dundee Theater to watch Adam. I didn't plan on it. I didn't even know which showing I would go to until I left. The N part of me loved it. See how well I compromise! And it all worked out so perfectly. Even the ratatouille, which looks sort of like a chunky, orange bowl of mush. And we're getting it. It's coming together. I know where things are in the apartment--except for the bike helmets, mystery. I live close enough to ride my bike to a movie theater. And everything was so peaceful last night that I had to make tea just to contribute my bit to the universe.
Ratatouille: from A Homemade Life (obviously, you should all buy this book)
olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 zucchini
3 green onions
3 garlic cloves
1 red pepper (or green or yellow)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (only because I ran out of fresh tomatoes because I made caprese salad three times last weekend)
bunch of thyme
bay leaf
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Cut eggplant in half, long ways, then slice into half moons about 1-inch thick. Arrange on a baking sheet. Pour some olive oil into a bowl, using a brush paint the eggplant rounds with oil, turn them over and coat the other side with a thin layer as well. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn over. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove and allow eggplant to cool. Chop into 1-inch cubes.

Slice zucchini into coins (see photo above). In a large skillet on medium heat, saute zucchini in olive oil until softened and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and put in a bowl. Chop the onions, garlic and pepper. Saute the onions for several minutes then add the garlic and pepper and saute for 2 minutes, being careful that the garlic doesn't burn. Add the can of diced tomatoes and toss in the eggplant, zucchini, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf and basil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the juice from the tomatoes has reduced. Season to taste. Remove bay leaf and serve. Best if eaten with your lovely, smiling roommate.


Craig said...

lainers, don't forget to work the leftover ratatouille into some scrambled eggs! i'm going to try to fix this sometime. thanks for the idea, and the easy recipe.

Lainey Seyler said...

i read that in this book. she said to put a poached egg on the leftovers tonight.

Laura Brooker said...