As regular readers know, I ran a Blogathon a while back. Loving Local was designed to attract bloggers throughout the state to explore the tastes, the politics, the sights, and the comforts of food produced here in the Bay State. It spanned Massachusetts Farmers Market Week in late August.
One reporter unfamiliar with the term “Blogathon” asked whether as organizer I would have to type on my computer for 24 hours straight. Happily, this was not the case, although it was certainly a busy week.
My job was to keep track of and list the different internet essays as people posted them on their blogs. I also encouraged contributors to keep on writing and answered questions via the Blogathon’s Facebook page.
In addition, I posted a couple of brief recipes on my own blog. I would have written more, but I barely had time to cook!
Of course, along the way I found lots of new writers to follow and lots of fun new recipes to try. Here is one of those recipes, courtesy of Kate Carcio of Village Veggies.
Kate lives smack in the middle of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, where she and her husband have transformed what used to be a front yard into a huge garden. She began blogging last year. At Village Veggies she shares her adventures, some of her recipes, and the tally of how much food she has put up so far this year. (It’s impressive!)
Kate contributed a local chocolate-chip cookie recipe to the Blogathon, which I will try in the winter, but this recipe really stole my heart because I’m a big fan of both eggplant and Indian spices.
Here is her recipe without a lot of change. (You can see her original post here!) I did mess with it a bit when I made it, using regular salt instead of garlic salt (because that’s what I had), and adding a few different spices as well as a sprinkling of lemon juice at the end. And I only made a half recipe (using three teeny tiny eggplants) since I wasn’t feeding a crowd. I didn’t try the alternate method.
Feel free to adapt the recipe to your taste. Whether you make it your way or as Kate wrote it, it should end up aromatic and satisfying.
2 medium eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 large tomato (about 1-1/2 cups chopped)
1 cup rehydrated beans of your choice (Tinky used lentils)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Slice the eggplants and place them, center down, on a greased baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees until the eggplants are soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. When they cool, scrape out the eggplant flesh, mash it, and set it aside, discarding the skin. (You may perform this step a day in advance and refrigerate the mashed flesh until it is needed.)
Alternate method: You may also chop up 1 of the eggplants and placed it in a greased baking dish. Then roast it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes for broiled eggplant. This way the overall dish will be a little chunkier, but you must roast at least 1 of the eggplants in the manner described above to make a good sauce.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until tender, approximately 7 minutes.
Add all the spices except the garam masala and continue to sauté another minute until the vegetables are fragrant.
Add the eggplant flesh, the tomatoes, and 1 cup water. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the eggplant and tomatoes have made a thick paste.
Remove the cover, add the beans and the garam masala, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve over rice or with naan—or both! If you have a lot of eggplant, double the recipe and freeze some for a later date. The flavors will be better the longer you wait!