I was going to start off my musings with a dedication to Dioscorides, but that will wait for another day.
Instead, the push to get writing about one my great passions, food, rather than continue fussing and editing and re-editing to be sure that everything is perfect, came from a simple email request to participate in a recipe exchange. Unlike those chain emails promising that your life will change irrevocably for the better if you annoy all of your friends by sending them a copy of the said miracle working letter (still better than the old school, hand written or typed chain letters that guaranteed imminent death and destruction) that I ignore, almost without exception, I took this as more of a sign to just get on with it. That, and the fact that I included the web address in the recipe page!
The recipe I chose to send to the person in the no. 1 position was my original Eggplant Parmesan. Whether you call it Melanzana, as the Italians do, Aubergine, as the French, or the not really so well suited English name of Eggplant, this lovely fruit deserves more credit and attention than it currently gets.
The dish requires a little bit of preparation, but not too much, and it is well worth the effort. The end result is a comforting and satisfying main course. This dish has been known to convert even those who profess not to like the beautiful purple globe into devotees. While not vegan, it is a recipe suited to non meat eaters. Most, but not all, of the recipes you will find here at de Materia Domestica are vegetarian. I have had an uncomfortable relationship with meat eating my entire life but that, also, is a discussion for another day.
As with any recipe, please choose your ingredients wisely. Always use the freshest available and organic whenever possible. The small difference in price is worth it in terms of taste and health benefits (yours and the earth’s).
Which brings me to the question of how does one choose an eggplant? Look for one that has smooth skin of a rich and even deep purple colour. It should be relatively free from blemishes and should be rather weighty for its size; and the stem should be of a pleasing fresh green colour. Avoid ones whose skin has started to wrinkle and /or develop yellow patches. It will keep in the fridge for a few days, but like most produce, it is best used sooner rather than later.
If you are doing your research on eggplants, many recipes will tell you to salt your peeled and sliced eggplant for about 20-30 minutes and then rinse and pat dry before using then in your recipe. I did this once and found it to be completely unnecessary.
I regret that I do not have a picture to share of the finished product at this time, but will add one as soon as I make this dish again.. hmm.. methinks there is an aubergine in my vegetable drawer!
See you soon,
The recipe for de Materia Domestica’s Eggplant Parmesan can be found here: dMD.Eggplant Parmesan