Eggplants

Eggplant_009

So
does this woman ever do anything besides grill vegetables? Yes, very occasionally, but rarely in
summer. Why should I, when the
vegetables at the market are so dazzling and the grill brings out their
sweetness so perfectly?

Since
we were gone last week, Saturday’s was the first market of the season when I
have seen eggplants in abundance and I love, love, love eggplants. I got
several of the big globe types – skin black and shiny and weighing so heavy in
the hand. But Steve Spencer (Homestead
Growers – the guy with the shitake and oyster mushrooms year round) also had
some tiny striped eggplants that were perfectly adorable. I have to admit they made me nervous – I’ve
tried to grow small eggplants before and found them to be pretty bitter, but
Steve assured me it wasn’t so. He was
right.

I
brought the e’plants home and grilled them, just sliced and brushed with some
olive oil, salt and pepper. Grilled some
yellow zucchini squash and some yellow and green patty pans, sliced into
rounds. Threw some sliced red onions on
too. When each ingredient was cooked — smoky, sweet, and fragrant — I pulled it off and added it to a big bowl. Then I dressed the whole thing with a basil
mint vinaigrette – about a handful of basil and mint leaves (the amounts are
totally a matter of taste), plus a clove of garlic and some salt, all in the
blender with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (about 2/3 to 1/3.) It was delicious, but sweet, so I added some
red wine vinegar to sharpen it up, and before I served it, I squeezed a lemon
over it and adjusted salt.

Fabulous,
fabulous, fabulous – a light and minty grilled ratatouille of sorts. We ate it with a good baguette to soak up
the juices and that’s it. Sometimes when I make this I chop the vegetables smaller and toss it
with pasta which is also delicious, but keeping it even simpler seemed right
last night.  Dessert was just a wedge of Capriole Farms Old Kentucky Tomme and some sweet, crispy watermelon — a heavenly, refreshing combination.  No wonder I love summer.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. scott says:

    I should not read your blog between meal times. It always makes me hungry!

    Like

  2. Michael says:

    This sounds delicious, Christine! I can’t wait to go to the farmer’s market next weekend and pick up some eggplant to try this. The basil-mint vinaigrette sounds like the perfect touch.

    Like

  3. Kevin says:

    Man, oh man. This looks and sounds delicious. Unfortunately, I am the only one in my house who would think so. It makes me selfishly wish somebody would leave town for a business trip. *sigh*

    Like

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