Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eggplant-Zucchini Toss

So damn good! I absolutely love eggplant (zucchini isn't half bad, either). I wanted to try a saucepan dish with eggplant, so I sliced it up into wide, pseudo-thin pieces. The slices turned into wide egg-like noodles. I was very happy.

Serves 2 (as a side dish)
35 minutes
-large saucepan
-spatula for tossing
Quick and simple

1/2 to 1 whole eggplant, peeled
1 to 2 medium zucchini
1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 medium white onion
1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves (or fresh, if you have them)
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash and peel the eggplant. I cut off the very top portion first, that seems to make it easier to 'catch' the skin. Cut off the bottom, then slice vegetable in half (perpendicular to the length). You should now have two 'cylindrical' sections, each about 3-4 inches long. Stand a section upright, and slice into the eggplant, creating wide sheets about 1/2 of an inch thick (they will shrink alot, don't worry). Cut the sheets in half length-wise to form rectangular eggplant-noodles. Repeat with the second half of the eggplant if you wish.
2. Do the same with the zucchini (but don't peel it). Chop off the ends, slice into two cylinders, then cut into strips, these are about 1/4th of an inch thick-- it's easier to cut the zucchini when it's lying on it's side instead up upright (duh). Don't half the zucchini strips, each should be the full width of the vegetable.
3. Slice the white onion into 1/4th inch disks, as if you were making thin onion rings. Leave the onion pieces as O's. Wash, peel and dice up the garlic cloves-- lots of garlic!
4. Place the zucchini strips into a large saucepan. Begin cooking over medium heat. When they start to sizzle, right before they begin to stick to the pan, add in the olive oil. Toss to evenly distribute the oil. Cook eggplant for 2-3 minutes more-- the vegetable will begin to wilt and turn a wonderful greenish-grey, don't be alarmed.
5. Add in the zucchini strips and garlic pieces. Mix. Cook for 5 more minutes, making sure to flip and rotate the pieces so they cook evenly.
6. Add the onion rings, breaking the layers apart a little. Sprinkle generously with basil and oregano. Season with sea salt and pepper. Mix well to coat. Add in a little more oil if you see fit.
7. Cook the entire dish for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the onion, zucchini and eggplant are wilted, tossing frequently. Stop cooking before they fall apart, however. Serve warm alongside meat, or with a generous helping of rice.

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