It’s a totally bizarre feeling – flipping through older In My Bowl and Tallulah cognitions and photographs – placing myself back in those specific moments in time, in my own life, when so much has changed so rapidly. Reading back my tone, unabashedly reinterpreting those hints of emotion in my face, posture, in my meals, watching my everyday unfold.
Nearly three months back, my dear friend Atara (the other half of The Wandering) was just on the brink of her wedding night, gracing our Shabbat table with the most stunning plate of roasted eggplant and a fever. Though she barely made it through a glass of wine, fleeing the scene for some much needed rest and reprieve, her eggplant, divinely savory, simultaneously indulgent and overtly simple, crept its way into our essence, the stuff summer dinner party dreams are made of. Currently sipping coffee and typing at the Dolcezza on P St., reading through my recollections and recipes from that dinner, mustering the words to share my eggplant interpretation, I realize I’m wearing the same dress Andrew captured me in that evening. For a moment, let’s forget the eggplant. Typically drawn to the gender ambiguous and oversized, that dress was quite possibly the tightest thing I’d ever left my home in, and definitely one of the first evenings I really looked pregnant. I felt self conscious and gawky, I felt really adult, in an old sense, but also really prideful in the magic of the (my) human body. 11 weeks later, all belly (and then some more belly), counting down every passing second until our little babe decides it’s his time to take this world by storm, this black dress, one of the last things in my closet that actually fits, couldn’t feel more safe, a little time capsule of our evolution. We’re almost there babe – I just can’t wait to snuggle you.
You’re probably here for the eggplant.. Inspired by Atara’s interpretation of Yottam Ottolenghi’s chermoula eggplant (isn’t recipe evolution the coolest), as well as the wildly striking variety of eggplant available at this weekend’s farmers market, this very simple Cumin and Coriander Roasted Eggplant is is must make (really, make it!). Requiring only minutes of active cooking time for a weeks worth of accessible grab-and-go leftover bites, the eggplant is roasted with rich and warming spices, bright lemon, and subtle heat, providing a wonderfully substantial, yet light accompaniment to any late summer meal. Andrew and I serve ours over grain salad (I particularly love when the eggplant’s juices seep into the grains), but you could easily slice yours up and serve it on toasty sourdough with ripe tomato and thick slices of cucumber.
Cumin and Coriander Roasted Eggplant [makes 8 servings]
Inspired By: Yottam Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, Chermoula Eggplant with Bulgur and Yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
juice of 1 lemon, divided
4 medium eggplant (about ¾ pound each)
1 cup probiotic coconut yogurt
¼ fresh mint, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle.
In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, spices, and half of the lemon juice until well combined. Season to taste.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with deep, diagonal crisscross cuts, making sure not to pierce the skin. Place eggplant on a nonstick baking sheet, flesh side up, then using a silicone brush (or your hands), evenly distribute the olive oil mixture over each half, getting the spices into every crevice. Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until eggplant flesh is very soft.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk coconut yogurt together with remaining half of the lemon juice.
To assemble: Plate each eggplant half with about 2 tablespoons of coconut lemon yogurt, then sprinkle with ½ tablespoon mint. Serve as desired and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per eggplant half]
150 Calories, 10.5g Fat, 15.5g Carbohydrates, 5g Fiber, 5.5g Sugar, 1.5g Protein
for my memory and your back pocket: 35 weeks pregnant in photograph