Eggplant two ways: Learning to appreciate a staple’s versatility
“Few things bring me more pleasure in the kitchen than taking a set of familiar ingredients and seeing them in a new light,” said Yotam Ottolenghi in Ottolenghi Simple (Ten Speed Press). Eggplant can be cooked in so many ways, as you can see in the recipes below. In the first, eggplants are roasted whole in the oven. In the alternative—made with largely the same ingredients—the eggplant is blackened in a pan, then simmered. Either dish can be served as a starter, a side, or over the grain of your choice as a main. In a large bowl, combine lentils, eggplant, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tbsp oregano leaves, ¾ tsp salt, and a good grind of pepper. Mix well, then spoon into a shallow bowl. Top with yogurt, swirling it through slightly to leave obvious streaks. Sprinkle with remaining oregano and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serves two as a main or four as a starter or side.