We are not a huge meat eating family, not through choice- I have decided I only will buy organic-preservative, steroid, mad cow free meat. For us this means cutting down on the amount we eat due to the growing prices. It is not a bad thing really because when you finally get to having the juicy New York strip steak at the end of the month- it tastes like heaven on earth! Eggplant (that's aubergine for those of you in Europe) however does not have the same association when telling my boys what's for dinner.
I had an eggplant sitting in the fridge for a week- they do last a very long time. I was heading out the door to go to book club in 30 minutes and I needed to eat. The boys had already eaten due to the crazy schedule of this week and they will again eat by themselves the next night so I wanted them to at least eat a delicious meal while I was at work. Max saw me cutting up the eggplant, rolled his eyes and of course said "YUCK!"- typical comment, however I told him he will be eating it tomorrow night. This bought much wining and moaning, I told him I'd serve it with toasted almonds and he said he'd 'just pick out the almonds and be done with it'.
Well, I made the eggplant and cooked it up with tomatoes, peas and a touch of chili flakes. Served it with couscous and toasted almonds- Beautiful! The crunchy almonds complimented the eggplants soft silky texture really well and the hint of chili rounded off the flavor. I was really happy with the out come and I did it in 30 minutes- you have got to love couscous when you are doing a meal on the fly.
The next day I told Nic to serve Alex's with a little plain yogurt to reduce the chili bite and wait and see for Max. This morning I dare ask how dinner went....."Great! the boys ate it all up without complaint" I couldn't believe it after the conversation I had with Max the day before. Nic did say they asked "what is this black stuff" with Nic replying "there is nothing black in there- now who wants a story?" with that they continued eating and most importantly- enjoying.
I understand eggplant isn't the first choice for a family meal but it is totally doable- you just need to add a bit of nutty crunch, a touch of chili for some people and the smooth yogurt for others, oh and don't mention the 'black stuff'.