Last week, I gave my family members a sincere promise that I would move on from my Indian food obsession and so, with some reluctance, I have. Now that June is rolling in and Texas produce is hitting its peak, I welcome back some old friends in the forms of shiny purple eggplants, first of the season tomatoes, and gorgeous new potatoes. With such perfect examples of summer vegetables, who else could I turn to but Yotam Ottolenghi for guidance. Right there in Plenty More, I came across exactly the recipe to honor these first summer arrivals. Originally billed as a brunch dish, I think it works equally well in the evening, served after a crispy salad of romaine.
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into a 1cm dice
½ small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbl white wine vinegar
½ cup parsley, chopped
1½ Tbl Sriracha (or other hot savory chilli sauce)
Salt and black pepper
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup olive oil
1 cup sunflower oil
1.5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (or fingerling), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
½ cup tahini paste
2½ Tbl lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
6 eggs (optional)
1 tsp sumac
1 Tbl coriander, chopped
While the first round of veggies simmer, I page longingly through both Jerusalem and Plenty More, tagging pages to refer back to for inspiration. By the end, it looks as if I’ve selected enough recipes to keep me busy for another week or two, probably just long enough to break my addiction to Indian food and not too long that I must drag the heavy volumes along for my July travels to Germany.
And so today, a single day after, one lonely portion awaits the first family member who wisely begins an early search for a midday meal. I can only imagine, since it won’t be me, that the lucky recipient will find it even more tasty than last night as the flavors all have had just enough time to blend. As for me, I’m already looking ahead at the recipe line up for next weekend.