Eat: On the Lighter Side

After the meatravaganza that was New Zealand, I've felt the need to be eating mostly vegetarian food recently. I eat a lot of vegetables regardless, but the first grocery shop I did upon my return to New York was super-laden down with them. I went stir crazy in the produce section (the produce section of the website, that is). FreshDirect, the online shop that I order my groceries from, has this awesome feature where they show you what produce is really fresh and delicious and a good buy right now, which totally informs my shopping, and therefore my menu for the week.

So this particular week I bought all my standard buys - sweet potato, broccoli, capsicum**, spinach, etc - as well as a red onion, kale, and aubergine. I wasn't sure exactly where I was going to use the aubergine, but I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking moussaka or ratatouille. They're always good.

Well, they're always good...unless you want a steak.

I REALLY wanted steak. Not very long after my return. I.e., not very long after I had eaten a steak. It's winter, and it's freezing, and I was craving French bistro food. Steak-frites with garlic butter. Mmmmm. But I had a vege bin full of vegetables, skinny jeans that were seeming really quite skinny after my holiday, and - most importantly - a desire not to eat that sort of special treat meal on a Wednesday night.

And my imagination. I had my imagination too.

I sliced and salted the aubergine...
I sliced and salted the aubergine...
...roasted the kale with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes...
...roasted the kale with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes...
...and served grilled aubergine with kale and carrot salad.
...and served grilled aubergine with kale and carrot salad.

This meal took longer to make than I usually like on a Wednesday night, but that's mainly because I salted the aubergine and let it drain. There's some dissent as to whether this tends to be necessary these days - there's much less chance of getting a horrid bitter aubergine - but I wanted it as dry as possible, so I could grill it quickly and get good sear marks. I cooked some onions, and burnt some others***, crushed some garlic**** and mixed it into a bit of butter, dished it all up and stuck it in front of H1. He was a fan. Although he didn't, for even a second, think it was steak.

*I've said 'you' but this may only be a 'me' failing. I'm cool with that.

**Bell peppers to you, my American friends.

***My cooking wouldn't be the same if I didn't consistently burn part of it, H1 tells me affectionately. Don't you feel the need to do the same for authenticity or anything, though.

****As with most things - cooking, vampires, fending off unwanted dates, etc - the more garlic, the better.