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Semi-Fancy Eggplant

I purposely cooked a semi-fancy supper last night so I could have a blog post today. Then I thought I had probably written a post about that recipe (if you can call how I cook a recipe) before (full disclosure: I’m too lazy to check). Then I thought maybe I would find different things to say about it. I do tend to do these things differently every time, depending on circumstances.

Circumstances this time were that fresh cilantro was on sale at Hannaford, and it looked pretty good. I picked up some eggplant, too, because I like eggplant roasted with cilantro. Then I grabbed some Roma tomatoes, because there would certainly be enough cilantro to also make a batch of salsa, maybe even for the pending dinner meeting of Ilion Little Theatre Club.

I hesitated long and hard over the mushrooms (good to roast with eggplant). I did not like the way the pre-washed, pre-sliced ones looked. The unsliced ones looked extremely dirty. I do hate washing mushrooms (point and laugh if you must). I finally found a package I could live with.

I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees. I’ve done eggplant at 350, but it seems to me that 350 is baking and 400 is roasting. I think I read that somewhere. I peeled and pressed a goodly amount of garlic (no worries about vampires at my house) and set the time for 15 minutes.

I pulled the blender out of the cupboard and poured in the rest of my olive oil then supplemented that with some canola oil. I pulled a bunch of cilantro leaves off the stems and threw them in. No point in chopping them when the blender would do it for me.

Plenty of time while the garlic breathed (or whatever it does) to chop up the eggplant. I had not gotten such a large one as I sometimes do. They say the smaller ones have better flavor (no, I don’t know who “they” is). I always pick whichever looks good at the time.

I had it in my head that I had to wash the mushrooms. Me and my middle-aged memory. Imagine my delight when I realized I had so purchased a pre-washed pre-sliced package.

Eventually I put the garlic in the blender, blended, poured some of the resulting mixture over the eggplant, stirred, poured that into a glass baking dish (previously sprayed with no-stick; I left that part out), and put it in the oven. I set the timer for 20 minutes and thought I could type in yesterday’s blog post.

No luck. The computer was acting up. Now what to do? Oh, all right, I could start on the salsa, which, if it turned out well I would bring to Thursday’s dinner meeting. My actual salsa method I will save for a future blog post (waste not, want not, I sometimes say).

Regarding the roasted vegetables, I stirred the eggplant after 20 minutes then set the timer for a further 15. When the eggplant was looking pretty good I put on water for farfalle, sometimes called bow-tie pasta, I believe. Normally I have roasted vegetables over angel hair, but sometimes I like to mix things up a bit.

The farfalle was to cook for 12 to 14 minutes, so when I put that on, I added the mushrooms (tossed with the oil-garlic-cilantro mix) to the eggplant. I tossed the cooked pasta with a little of the oil mixture as well.

Steven had bread and butter with his pasta and vegetables. I put grated cheese on mine.

Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite meals. I’ll probably write another post about it the next time I fix it. Dire warning or preview of coming attractions? You decide.