First off, don't forget that tomorrow's the last day to enter for the fig preserves giveaway. And now for what you've all been waiting for...
"Vegetarian Planet" by Didi Emmons. This was the first cookbook I added to my collection when I became obsessed with cooking with local food last year. I really like this book because it has an extremely diverse group of recipes. Many of them highlight some of the produce that will be in the markets this month, including this recipe for an eggplant and cherry tomato saute.
I'm obsessed with eggplant and I never turn down tomatoes, so I knew I had to make this recipe. Right now the variety of tomatoes at the market is amazing - there are dozens and dozens of types of heirlooms, each with its own color, shape, and taste. This even extends to cherry tomatoes. I don't often think to combine eggplant and tomatoes, but I loved this dish. I mean LOVED it. The creaminess of the cooked eggplant was really nice with the slightly cooked tomatoes that burst open in your mouth. I already knew that I liked this cookbook, but if the recipes continue to be this good, it might become my favorite. I'm submitting this dish to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is organized by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, who is also hosting this week.
Eggplant and cherry tomato saute (adapted from "Vegetarian Planet" by Didi Emmons)
2 medium eggplants, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup basil, cut into thin strips
Salt eggplant slices on both sides and let them sit for 30 min (I didn't do this for a long time because I usually don't find eggplant bitter, but I recently learned from Julia that salting also reduces oil absorption). Rinse and dry slices, and then cut them into small cubes.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add eggplant cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until eggplant is tender (about 12 min). Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, and tomatoes, and cook for 4 min. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Serves 4.