Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest. Here’s a recipe my dad shared with me verbally on a recent visit. It was inspired, in part, by the eggplants then growing in the family garden.
Our conversation went something like this:
Dad: “You know what you can do with this eggplant? Take a whole eggplant and roast it in the oven.”
Me: “Do you have to poke holes in it? You know, to let the steam escape?”
Dad: “No, just let it roast really well until it starts to cave in on itself. You might have to turn it over once.
Then cook some onions in a pan on the stove for a few minutes. Then you add in some garlic. . .”
Me: “Do you add any spices to the onions and garlic?”
Dad: “No, just salt and pepper. Anyways, you cook the onions and garlic until they’re soft. Then you can add in a little bit tomato and cook that for a minute.
Then you cut the eggplant, take out everything, and mix it in with the onion and garlic. Cook it until. . .let it get warm.
You can eat this like a dip with some cheese and bread [My dad loves cheese and bread. To the point that they make their own].
Or you can even have this as dinner. You can eat it cold, too. “
Me: “Wow, that sounds really easy and healthy. But like it would be really satisfying too. “
Dad nods in agreement, and I’m thinking, “New blog post. Score!”
So yes, that’s the recipe. I suspect that second to leaning recipes by doing, the verbal passing down of recipes is historically the second most common way recipes are passed down through the generations.
Oven roasting temp? 400-425 F worked well for me.
Length of roasting time? For 2 medium eggplants, start with half an hour. Turn them over at 15 minutes.
How long to cook the onions? 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic in the last few minutes so that it doesn’t get bitter or burn. Alternately, you can smash is pre-roasted garlic at the last minute if you have some on hand.
Optional Extras? Garnish with fresh herbs of your choice. I mixed in a few dollops of goat cheese in a fromage homage to the goats my fam keeps. They make their own goat cheese from their milk. I avoid dairy for the most part, but definitely enjoy a few smidges of goat cheese when I visit the fam. It’s sooooo good and fresh!