Clem cooks : Purple Gold

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They are rare and delicate. They look the best “au naturel” and are cute as a button. Their light purple color reminds you of a really cool Prince song and when you get them you know you’re on to some very special lunch…

Those baby eggplants are everything.

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When their bigger sisters need quite a lot of time to cook, those just take a few minutes and do not require to be peeled off since their skin is so thin and tender. Just take off the tip of it and rinse them well before cooking.

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I choose to marinate mine “à la Méditéranéenne” like I would do back home in the South of France. Lots of olive oil, garlic, herbes de Provence, parsley, lemon and fruits & nuts mix.

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I always have some home-made herbs mix that is so so easy to prepare weeks in advance. I buy the small batches of fresh rosemary and thyme at the market and let them dry in the sun a few hours, up to a day. I then put them in a zip plastic bag and leave them there for weeks. Every time I need them I shake them well and sprinkle them on top of my dish, right at the beginning so they can re-hydrate.

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This recipe as most recipes I post is very versatile and you probably don’t need to go buy anything else then the baby eggplants. You should have almost everything at home, or if not something very similar you can replace it with…

Here’s what I used and how you can replace it for something else you might already have at home

 - baby eggplants 

- cold pressed olive oil (any olive oil)

- juice of 1/2 a lemon (or orange & lime)

- lots of garlic (or scapes)

- a handful of roasted almonds (walnuts, pecans or pistachios too)

- a handful of raisins (also use cranberries, apricots or prunes)

- some herbes de provence home mix (Italian herbs works too)

- some dry red pepper flakes (skip that if you like it mild)

- fresh parsley (mint or coriandre is good too)

- salt and pepper

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Give it between 10 mns and 1h rest, depending on your schedule, to let the babies soak up the juice like a sponge and get even more tender. When ready, heat up a skillet and just throw it all in. The olive oil will coat the preparation to protect it from the heat and give it this fatty but healthy texture in your mouth…

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When the eggplants start getting a bit brown, reduce the heat and cover them up for about 10 mns. When they turn a bit whiter on the out and translucent on the inside, it’s time to plate already.

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This preparation can also be added to pasta or rice for a more filling dish. Serve it warm as a side of a grilled meat or just on its own hot or cold as an appetizer or a light main. Versatile and delicious. Easy and healthy. Yummy.

Bon Appetit !

Xoxo, Clem

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