Martha and Eggplants

Call me old fashioned, but I love a good magazine. There are tons of great DIY projects, recipes, beauty tips, and of course perfectly staged photographs to swoon over. A magazine is great for a relaxing weekend, especially one where you want to unplug.

On Saturday we drove up to Lake George, NY to hang out on my friend’s boat for the day.  We stopped to buy some beer and chips, I also grabbed the September issue of Martha Stewart Living. Sometimes I feel like those magazine racks at the check out are just staring at me – buy me, buy me, they say. While the boat outing was filled with lots of relaxing and swimming, I didn’t have a chance to read my magazine. I guess that’s what lazy Sunday’s are for. I know, poor me, right?

In this months issue, Martha Stewart made an enticing salad dish with blistered eggplant with tomatoes, olives, and feta. “Blistered”, doesn’t sound so enticing, but that’s where those perfect photographs come into play and you can smell the deliciousness coming to life from the pages. As the title suggested, the salad also consisted of tomatoes, feta, and olives, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

For me it was the eggplant that caught my attention because we had two gorgeous purple eggplants sitting on our counter from our garden. First you slice them in 1/4 rounds and sprinkle with olive oil and place 6 inches from the broiler. You lightly toast them or “blister” as described in the magazine on each side for 10-12 mins.  I only set my timer for 10 minutes each side and a few of them became little charged. I suggest you monitor them if your oven gets really hot, like ours. After you take them out of the oven, place in a bowl and cover, so they stay soft.

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The juicy tomato is from our neighbors garden, a nice couple from Spain, who we recently met. Our plants are toppling over with green tomatoes, but I pruned the branches back a little to help them ripen faster.  We didn’t have feta either, so I sprinkled a little grated parmesan cheese instead, which was left over from the pesto I made earlier in the week. The dish definitely would have been good with feta because I think the vision was supposed to be more greek inspired salad.

Add olives and little olive oil. The dish didn’t call for balsamic, but next time I would add a dash or two. Visually, I think the salad needs more green?
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This is the first time I’ve grown eggplant, and I did a little research and discovered, there are male and female plants. The males have prickers on the stems, which ours do. But I think we have some female plants and those are sweeter. Just a little salt and olive oil, and the true buttery and sweet flavor really comes alive in the eggplant. Simple is better. I devoured my salad, but Sam wasn’t all that impressed, so I polished off this bowl by myself. The flavor reminded me of potato chips, but they were soft. Even if I don’t make the salad again, I will certainly be making a quick toasted eggplant snack for myself this summer.

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