” Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ~Jim Davis
I’m a huge fan of few ingredients on a plate. I do admit, some recipes require a bunch of spices, herbs, a whole bouquet of vegetables or a mix of seafood, but overall, I like it when I can identify what is on my plate either by seeing it or tasting it. Genius is in simplicity. Another thing I admire are those places (or people), who cook the simplest recipes, yet you can taste they’ve put a lot of heart and love into cooking. A simple dish doesn’t equal a plain dish. It can be as sophisticated as the most exquisite plate of fancy ingredients. Sometimes the devil is the details – knowing a few tips and tricks that make food just a pinch better than cooked those other times.
The other day I cam across baby eggplants. They looked so cute, I couldn’t resist buying them, although I had no plan in my mind what I’ll make. A few days later they were still sitting on a shelf in my fridge, so I decided to make a plate of eggplant and potato salad. The simplest of dishes, very quick and easy to make.
- ~300 g baby red potatoes (or whichever kind you like most)
- ~300 g baby eggplant
- 1 shallot/ red onion
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Fresh lemon juice
- Fresh dill
- Olive oil
Prior to turning the stove on, halve the eggplants, lay them on a plate cut side up, sprinkle with salt and let them sit for ~20 min. The salt removes bitterness from eggplant. When the time is up, rinse eggplant with cold water and dry with paper towel.
Cut potatoes in quarters, heat a bit of olive oil and cook them for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, add a bit of salt. Slice the shallot, peel the garlic and add with eggplant to the pan. Cook on moderate heat until potatoes and eggplant are golden.
Plate, drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a handful of fresh dill. Serve hot or cold!
I made a bit too much (or ate too little). I reheated a bit of salad next morning and had for breakfast with a poached egg. It is awesome as a salad or as a side dish to a steak or a roast.