It is not secret that I did not eat much as a child. If I did eat, then it was usually only my mother's food. I never ate at any one's house or restaurant. Being the picky eater that I was (and am) I was always afraid that other people would try and slip something in my food that I didn't like...and then I would start gagging at the table...and make a scene...etc etc etc. So my mother quickly learned that I was best fed with food from her kitchen and her hands. I didn't like a lot of veggies as a kid especially things like eggplant and zucchini. However, this dish...oooh it makes me feel all good and warm inside. I don't know what it is? My mother made it for me when I was a bit older. It has lots of juicy tomatoes in it and nice fresh olive oil. *In Russia, my mother used to make it with sunflower oil which gave it a very authentic flavor.*
For the past few nights, this has been my dinner. I spread this salad/spread on a few pieces of toasted whole grain bread. Sometimes when I am being really bad, I will do it on good Russian "grey bread" or the American equivalent, sourdough bread. Those simple flavors are sometimes all that I need...
Roasted Eggplant Spread
3 large eggplants 1 tomato 1/2 an onion olive oil salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. 2. Wash and dry your eggplants well. Place them on a baking sheet or roasting pan. 3. Poke some holes in the eggplants with a fork to give the steam somewhere to go. 4. Pour some oil on top of the eggplants so that they don't dry up in the oven. 5. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes. Or until they look deflated, like the above picture. 6. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so that they can "steam". This process will make the removal of the skin much easier. 7. If you have time, let the eggplants cool, it will be easier to handle them while removing the skin. If you are like me and you don't have time, then just put on some rubber gloves and work fast! 8. Remove the skin and cut of the top stem. Drop the cleaned eggplants into a colander and leave to drain for about 10 minutes. Usually, if I haven't had time to cool them, I place a bowl underneath the colander and stick it in the freezer. That way it drains and cools at the same time! 9. Place the eggplants on a large cutting board and run your chefs knife through it a couple times. Just rock your knife back and forth to create a paste. Place in a bowl and smash up a bit more with a spoon, just so that it's one "paste". 10. Chop up your tomato and onion finely. Add to the eggplant mixture along with salt, pepper and good extra virgin olive oil. 11. Spread on some good bread or even crackers and enjoy!
Years ago, I followed my dreams and went to culinary school. I went to culinary school to continue the dream that my mother and I always shared: to open up a deli or cafe somewhere and call it our own. Whether that cafe will ever open is still up in the air...but my cooking and my love for food I owe to my mother...and in a way this blog is dedicated to her...I only hope that I can inspire other women with this blog the way my mother inspired me...With her love for food passed onto me, I quickly became a food snob after culinary school. Today, a house, a husband' (and his stomach),and an up and coming business keeps me busy enough without all my gourmet concoctions! But, no matter how busy I am, I still go to my kitchen and cook to retain my sanity. Prehaps this is a way I connect to my mother...but cooking is the only thing that truely soothes my soul. My recent transformation has led me to belive that sometimes you just have to Keep It Simple Stupid...and Cook!
I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead. ~Woody Allen
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Mark Twain
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want. ~Gael Greene
Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are. ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
And, of course, the funniest food of all, kumquats. ~George Carlin
Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat. ~Jim Davis
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~George Miller
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. ~Anonymous
But those aren't the flavors. That'd make too much sense. Apple and pear, according to Dr. Phil, are body types the bars are made for. Hey, I've got some advice. If you look like an apple or a pear, eat an apple or a pear! [On Dr. Phil's energy bars. ~Lewis Black