Eggplants have always fascinated me. The first encounter with an eggplant I remember was in kindergarten. We were supposed to make a collage out of vegetable shapes that the teacher gave us. I got some pictures of carrots, potatoes, tomatoes — all on thin paper, nothing unusual. And then… the teacher gave me a thick velvety shape. It was dark purple; it felt soft to the touch; and it glistened in the light. That was a picture of an eggplant. At home, I begged my mom to make something out of eggplants. She did, but I felt disappointment. It tasted a little bitter and too strong for my kindergarten palate. It was nothing magical, nothing like that thick velvety shape I got in school. As I got older, I never really liked eggplants, but I always felt compelled to buy them and experiment. Why? Mr. Freud would have some answers for it, I’m sure. My answer is a simple and delicious recipe below. Finally, the eggplant lived up to that first impression it made on me many years ago. Thick, velvety, mysterious, and yummy. I hope you enjoy it, too!
2-3 medium eggplants
6-8 garlic cloves (adjust to taste, of course. For me, more is always better.)
2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons of honey
some butter for sautéing
fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley to garnish
1. Peel garlic cloves, thinly slice them, and saute them in a pan with butter.
2. Wash and cut eggplants into thin slices. Their shape doesn’t matter. Just make them thin so they cook faster.
3. Add honey and soy sauce. Mix and cook until eggplant is soft. Add butter and/or a little water if the pan gets too dry. Be careful when adding water to a hot pan to avoid burning yourself if the water heats up too quickly. Just add a little at a time.
4. When the eggplant is soft, remove from heat, put in a serving dish, and sprinkle some fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley on top.