Eggplant – what do you do with it?


The joys of eggplant. . . much misunderstood by Australians.

Italians, Indians and Middle Easterners on the other hand know just what to do with this magnificently coloured vegetable.

I always enjoy the visual treat of the deep brown purple skin when it is against fresh oranges in my produce bowl, the fruit pitted in texture and vibrant in the truest of orange colour.

This side dish of eggplant is made by cutting eggplant into flat chip-like wedges and browning with a little olive oil in a cast iron pan. After a few minutes you add a capful of cooking grade sherry and put the glass lid on the pan so the eggplant ‘cooks down’ by convection. After another five minutes or as soon as you see the breaking down of the sponge like flesh into a slippery bark like consistency you can add other flavours. Here I have added a heaped teaspoon of miso-paste, some black sesame seeds that become toasted when added into the pan and some finely diced coriander stalks, the leaves of which had been completely de-nuded after lunch upon lunch of Vietnamese rice paper rolls – our January literal flavour of the month.

The eggplant served as an accompaniment to some chicken breasts cooked in sherry and seasoned with Himalayan rock salt and fresh finely grated ginger – how to for another time as it’s a great fall back of mine