Are you ever haunted by a particular food? And I don’t mean in an up-all-night-on-the-toilet way. I mean: in a good way. Like, you ate something so amazing that you just can’t seem to get it out of your head.
Me? I am usually haunted by things like crispy pork belly and Pad Thai. But ever since our trip to Asheville a couple of weeks ago and that amazing dinner at Curate, I’ve totally been haunted by eggplant.
I don’t think I’ve ever been haunted by a vegetable before.
That honey eggplant at Cutate was that good, I guess.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to re-create it, but of course I was going to try. I started off by decking out my little aubergine out in peppy stripes. Stripes are totally in this season! Or so they tell me. (They being the dressing room ladies at Target, where I have flirted with many a stripy frock this summer.)
In addition to making a cute presentation, this makes the skin easier to chew through, and allows the slices of eggplant to expand/contract as they cook, and thus hang together a little better. Or so it seems to me, anyway.
Next: half-inch-thick slices and a whole lotta salt.
I let them hang out in their salt for half an hour – at the end of which time, that paper towel was drenched, leaving little eggplant sponges that would hopefully suck up the mixture of honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh rosemary I’d whisked together.
After being dunked in the marinade, they only needed a few minutes on a hot grill. (And a little more rosemary and salt, of course!)
Yum! I enjoyed them with salad, fresh peach slices and a little prosciutto + bread for a light tapas-style dinner:
However, once my food coma wears off, I’m sure the eggplant ghost will haunt me again. This was very good, but it was a shadow of its restaurant-crafted inspiration. Something about how unbelievably piping-hot the eggplant at Curate was served…
Perhaps I need to invest in a blowtorch?
(Pretty sure that is not allowed per the terms of our apartment lease.)
Anyway. I poured a glass of chilly SB to sip on while dinner grilled:
This 2010 Matua Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough was just okay. Lots of apple and grapefruit, but it was almost a little too sweet: none of the delicious green pepper I’ve started to expect from SB. And there was something…gravelly about it? Like, when it hasn’t rained in a while and a car pulls out of an unpaved driveway and makes a big cloud of dust? That smell? Is kind of how this wine tastes. That rock/mineral flavor isn’t a bad thing, actually, but it was just a little unexpected and didn’t really work with the other flavors.
Bottom line? Eh, it wasn’t horrible but I wouldn’t buy it again. (Purchased at Fresh Market, $12.)
Off to work my noodle-y arms (holy HEAT workout tricep action tonight) on the remote control for a couple of hours. Good night!