This past weekend, I was at a potluck and had one of the most delicious eggplant dishes that I had ever tried. I immediately had to ask where the recipe was from and lucky for me, it was sitting in Jerusalem, one of my favourite cookbooks. I couldn’t believe that I had overlooked the recipe, but when I found it in my book later that night, I wasn’t too surprised. It was one of the few recipes in his book without an accompanying picture. I am so drawn in by Ottolenghi’s gorgeous photographs that I can’t help but skim over those that are unlucky enough not to have a stunning, colourful, full page photograph right next to it. Either way, I knew I wanted to make the recipe as soon as possible but to make it a full meal, I decided to make eggplant and mango salad rolls for a little twist on a classic.
I wanted to call this my everyday green salad because it’s not unusual for us to eat it 4-5 times a week. To me, it’s the easiest, go-to salad that goes with almost anything. I always have the ingredients on hand and it’s a no-brainer side dish to many of our meals. I hesitated putting it up here because it’s so simple but then I remembered that it wasn’t so long ago that I always looked to recipes that I found on the internet to make salad dressings. In fact, when I’m looking for some new inspiration, I still do. Another perk is that my boyfriend still doesn’t know how to make it so instead of having to walk him through it every time, he can just look it up here (woohoo!).
I recently had to empty the majority of my freezer. I sold my bagels at a farmer’s market here in Calgary. This meant freezing a lot of dough. Fifteen dozen bagels to be exact. While I was extremely thankful that I was able to freeze the raw dough without compromising on quality (I definitely wouldn’t have been able to make 18 dozen bagels completely by hand, on my own, in my teeny tiny kitchen the morning of the market), it also meant that I had to give up my freezer for about a week. Now that it is empty again, and I have a window before the next market (January 21, 2015!), I have already started to fill it up.
I keep buying eggplant and not knowing what to do with it. I feel like I use eggplant all of the time, but I don’t. In my mind it’s like mushrooms in the sense that it is super substantial and often used as a ‘meaty’ substitute in vegetarian cooking (why is that?) but in the end my uses of eggplant are limited to eggplant parmesan, eggplant with pasta, and asian-style eggplant. While I suppose that’s kind of a bunch of options, I was feeling like trying something a little bit different. So, I decided to make some babaganoush, one of the most classic, hearty dips in my books.