"last night before
I fell asleep
I put the book
on the floor
I see its spine
with the golden
of the old
poet who might
already be dead
somehow he used
we don't need anymore
to place inside
me that perfect
- from "Aubergine", by Matthew Zapruder
This is a lovely dish, regardless of whether you call the vegetable "eggplant" or "aubergine". Fearnley-Whittingstall suggests two ways of serving it - with a dollop of yogurt and shredded mint, or with a bit of pesto. It's great both ways.
Roasted Eggplant Boats
(from River Cottage Veg Everyday, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
2 large eggplants
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 – 3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
4 – 5 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 – 3 Tbsp pesto
4 – 6 Tbsp plain, full-fat yogurt and 8 mint leaves, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut eggplants in half lengthways. Using a small, sharp knife, make a series of deep slashes diagonally across the flesh, going about two-thirds of the way into the flesh but not right through to the skin. You want to end up with 6 – 10 slashes, depending on the size of your eggplants.
Mix the garlic and red pepper flakes with 3 Tbsp of the olive oil. Hold one eggplant half in your hand and squeeze it from side to side so the slashes open up a little. Spoon some of the garlic- and red-pepper-oil over the top with a teaspoon, using the back of the spoon to work the oil down into the slashes. Repeat with the other halves.
Put the eggplant halves, flesh side up, in a roasting dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then trickle over a little more olive oil – there should be little or no unoiled flesh showing. Roast in the oven for about 50 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Let eggplants cool slightly. Serve hot or warm, either smeared with a little pesto, or dabbed with yogurt and sprinkled with mint and a little more salt.