When Summer is close, we start to cook different dishes from eggplants as we know that these are real eggplants not fake as in Winter time. And this one is our favorite. The best part of Spring and Summer for me is that I have more time in a day, it doesn’t quickly get dark here after March. Day time is longer than night time. I can’t take the advantage of open markets in Winter very often because generally when I leave work, it’s already dark and here open markets are “open” just during day time. But beginning from March, they are open longer and I enjoy shopping from open markets as I desire.
In Turkey open markets are not stable, they have certain places on each day of a week. The reason for this is to provide the same chance to all neighborhoods. As you know, everything is cheaper and more fresh in open markets, so people prefer shopping there. On Monday, the open market is in our neighborhood, close to our home and on Friday, it is close to the school I work. So today, after leaving school, on the way home, I popped round the open market and came home with several bags. I was a bit tired and I didn’t want to wait long for dinner, so when I saw some very fresh eggplants, I made up my mind. Although my hubby is a meat lover, he adores this eggplant dish and never refuses to eat it. Besides its hearty taste, the easiness of its preperation was my concern today.
And we had an unexpected guest for dinner. Our neighbor forgot her house keys and rang our bell just as we were sitting dinner table. She asked if she could wait until her husband came, we certainly welcomed her and put one more plate on the table. We had our dinner together and she said that she was so lucky to forget her keys as she had the chance of tasting and learning this quick eggplant dish.
-4 middle sized tomatoes, diced
-2 green peppers, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, sliced into two
-1 onion, chopped
-1/2 tbsp tomato paste(optional)
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1tsp black pepper
-4tbsp natural olive oil
Wash the eggplants and throw the leaves away. Do not cut the whole stems, leave a little piece of it. I didn’t peel them, but if you like, you can. Cut them in two from the middle horizantally. Then, grab the half with the stem and cut them into four lengthwise until the stem. Do not cut them completely. As for the other half, you can cut them in finger shape. Wait these in a salty water for at least 15 minutes so that the bitterness of eggplants goes away.
Heat the oil in a pot and saute the chopped onion until golden. Drain the eggplants and add them in the pot. Cook them over medium heat until the eggplants change their color. Then add the paste, tomatoes, peppers and garlic. Sprinkle sugar, salt and black pepper and cover the pot. Cook them over low heat for about 40 minutes and do not open the cover until it’s done.
You can garnish it with some leaves of basil and if you serve a bowl of home made yogurt near it, it’s inevitable to feel in heaven.
The Perfect Couple
This was the first date of Miss Eggplant and Mr Cucumber. They came accross with each other in several open markets and covered markets before, and they were both impressed by each other. Eventually they could escape from the their stands and met at a solitary neighborhood. Miss Eggplant complimented Mr Cucumber about his cooling and skin beautifying effects while he flattered Miss Eggplant about her unforgettable taste when prepared with natural olive oil. He added “You are the best cure for skin cancer! We’ll make a perfect couple as we are both curative for skin.” They felt closer with these nice words and decided to go to a patisserie for a romantic chat. (drawing by mom)