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Braised Eggplant with Green Peppers

August 23, 2012

What is it about time? I still remember staring at the big clock on the wall to my left in 12th grade physics trying to will the minute hand to move faster. I couldn’t do it anymore than I can make that minute hand go slower when I’m spending precious time with people I love and I don’t want it to end.

Maybe that’s why always using seasonal food has such a bittersweet quality. When we’re in the midst of it, it seems like the bounty won’t ever end. And then, one day, poof they’re gone. OK, at this point, one can say, dopey, it doesn’t have to end. Want plums in January in LA? Get them from the supermarket where they’re imported from Chile. Yeah, but you and I both know that it’s just not the same. And maybe it means something to me and to the chain of life to eat what’s  local instead of twisting everything around just because it’s convenient.

Maybe there’s something to be learned here. Savoring what’s here and in front of us right now rather than longing for something that isn’t here now or might come later.

People ask me where I get my inspiration.  Holly aka Jittery Cook is a food blogger in Canada,who is a kindred spirit when it comes to cooking seasonally and healthfully.  She very kindly nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award some time back.  Like the Jittery Cook, I find my inspiration all around me. From restaurants, from friends, from cookbooks, from the LA Times Food Section (which is now part of the “Saturday” section – I kinda miss the Food Section not having to share). And mostly from the Farmer’s Market. I go and whatever calls to me, I bring home. And I try not to get carried away.

What are these creatures?

Could they be heirloom tomatoes?

No, these are heirloom tomatoes:

Correct Answer: one of several varieties of eggplant popping up at the local farmers’ market.  Though both are highly attractive, the eggplant are a tad more fashionable because of their hats.

I thought it would be nice to have a few guys from my newbie vegetable container garden join in the fun.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’m a big fan of roasting vegetables for the concentrated flavor they bring out.  But every now and then, I like to think outside the roasting pan.  This time, I first did a quick saute of the veggies to achieve a bit of browning.

The baby eggplants need a shorter time in the pan, so they followed the shallots and green peppers.

Adding a bit of liquid to vegetables, whether broth or wine, (or vinegar, or juice, or even water), bringing it up to a boil, then covering and reducing to a simmer, constitutes the braising portion of the festivities. Braising until tender is another really good cooking technique to keep in your back pocket.

Braised Eggplant with Green Peppers

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1/2 t. dried oregano

1 large shallot, chopped

1 small green pepper (or 1/2 large), diced

1 lb. small eggplant (Japanese or mixture of any small variety), chunks or wedges, if using round eggplant

salt & pepper

2 T. chicken or vegetable broth

Directions:

Heat skillet, then add oil to heat up. Add oregano, then chopped shallots and saute for 3 minutes on a medium flame.  Stir in peppers and cook for 3 more minutes.

Toss in eggplant and saute until eggplant just begins to brown.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add broth and when it’s bubbling, bring heat down to a slow simmer.  Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until tender. If all the liquid evaporates quickly, add another tablespoon of broth.  You want a little bit of moisture in the pan.

bb notes:

If your skillet doesn’t have a cover, use a piece of aluminum foil.

Don’t eat peppers?   No poblano problemo.  Substitute an equal amount of mushrooms or zucchini or simply saute eggplant with shallots or onion and garlic.

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From → Sides, Veggies

One Comment
  1. Judalah,
    Thanks for another wonderful and easy vegetable recipe!

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