Monday, June 18, 2007


Yesterday I rediscovered an old, red cloth-bound cookbook entitled The Seasonal Kitchen by Perla Meyers, published 1973. I took this book to a comfortable seat in the sunshine and opened up to the basics of buying (or growing) and using herbs, fruits, vegetables and cheese.

I'm sure I've had eggplant cubed or mashed up in some Italian dish, but I was really interested in frying up some eggplant as described in Meyers's "Eggplant à la Basquaise." So today, I sliced and dried salted eggplant disks for a few hours, then browned them in olive oil. Lightly browned onions, mashed garlic and sliced tomatoes comprise the sauce, seasoned with fresh basil and thyme. I omitted the anchovy portions. The Basque kiss: Manchego cheese and white pepper. Délicieuse!

Eggplant Almost Basquaise

Eggplant Almost Basquaise

Inspired by a recipe from The Seasonal Kitchen by Perla Meyers

2 small Eggplants

Olive Oil

1/2 sliced Onion
1 sliced Tomato
3 mashed Garlic Cloves
Chopped fresh Thyme and Basil,

Salt and ground White Pepper
Grated Manchego cheese
Additional minced Garlic + Parsley for garnish if desired

Slice eggplants to 1/2" disks and lay flat in colander; salt and drain for 1 hour.

Flood bottom of skillet with olive oil and warm to medium heat. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels and arrange flat in heated skillet; brown lightly both sides of the disks.

Remove browned eggplant to a serving dish or two lunch plates. Wipe excess oil and black bits out of pan; add a few more spoons of olive oil.

Return skillet to medium heat and add sliced onion; cook until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, mashed garlic and herbs. Heat until thick.

Drape eggplant with seasoned tomato mixture, sprinkle with white pepper, and grate a generous amount of Manchego right over it.