I've been on a purple kick lately. Since the cooler weather appears to be in Florida to stay, I've busted out my purple fleece lounge pants for relaxing at home in the evenings. I also bought some new house slippers that have thick purple and white stripes. And I sprung for a new purple dog collar since I think it looks better on my pup. My purple craze seems to have spread into my diet as well.
The last shopping trip to the local co-op, I kept eying these gorgeous looking mini eggplants, but couldn't bring myself to take them home. I had a bad experience with eggplant last year and have steered clear ever since. These tiny little purple and white striped gems, however, were calling out to me. I went back a week later and they still had some left. I decide to purchase a small handful and try to experiment. I wanted to prepare a dish that was simple so the flavor of the eggplant would come through - and if I ended up not liking it, then I would not have wasted time, money, or my taste buds. I saw some juicy purple potatoes sitting nearby, so I snagged a few of those two.
Cutting into them was like cracking open a geode.
I've been in love with bulgur this year, so I grabbed a cup from the pantry to use as the base of this dish. The co-op did not have a label on the eggplants, but a quick search seems to point in the direction of this being a Listada de Gandia variety of eggplant. The skin is very thin, so no need to peel before preparing. I chose to roast the eggplant and potatoes in the oven to enhance their taste. The salt and pepper made the flavors pop in my mouth.
I was very pleased with this variety of eggplant. My palate recognized this vegetable, but it was slightly milder and sweeter. I was happy I did not choose to hide it under a heavy dish or sauce since I would have lost its pleasurable taste. Both the eggplant and potatoes were slightly crispy around the very edges, but soft and tender in the middle.
I hope the co-op has some left...I'd love to go back for more.
Listada de Gandia in Bulgur
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup bulgur
4 mini Listada de Gandia eggplants
2 medium purple potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Wash the eggplants and potatoes, pat dry. Chop off both ends of each vegetable, then cut into thin slices. Spread the vegetables on a roasting pan and top with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix together well. Roast the vegetables for 20 min. Remove the eggplant pieces with a fork, turn the oven up to 400*F and roast the potatoes for 20 min.
While the potatoes are roasting...
In a small pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. In a medium bowl, add the bulgur and pour the boiling chicken broth on top. Cover with plastic wrap for 20 min.
When all ingredients are ready, mix together and serve immediately.
~Yields 2 servings.
~Original by Brie.