Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Shootings Stuffed Eggplant

Inspired by an annual celebration in Toronto, the first Labor Day parade was held in NYC by the Central Labor Union in 1882. "The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties." This year, the holiday was regarded as a day of fewer shootings than the day before. 48 people were shot in the City over the weekend, 3 of whom died. A. and I are grateful that we stayed inside rather than walked around during the parade on Flatbush. In better news, I got a haircut today from D., who as well as giving me a fade (unfortunately nicking my eyebrow and shaving too hard a line on the right side) suggested a Rastafari market nearby where I can pick up some real I-tal food.

Last night I got ambitious. A. and I cooked up this recipe in our collective imagination and then I cooked it up in our kitchen. The hummus-type stuff that goes over the eggplant is meant to be runnier than the hummus I usually make, hence the extra liquid ingredients and upped tahini ratio. A.'s spinach is a nice accompaniment, just don't season with too much salt like I did.

servings: 6
prep time: approx. 1 hr.

3 bicolor eggplant, halved and hollowed out, cubed
3/4 c. Moroccan couscous
1 c. yellow split peas
8 baby bella mushrooms, diced
olive oil
dried basil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
3 spoonfuls tahini
4 cloves garlic
sesame oil
rice vinegar
Bragg's liquid aminos
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 package frozen cut spinach, thawed
1 large shallot, diced
olive oil
Smart Balance Light margarine

1. Boil almost a cup of water. Add the couscous and cut off the heat.
2. Simmer the split peas in 2 c. water for half an hour, or until tender.
3. Prepare the eggplant. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the hollowed-out eggplant skins on a baking sheet in the oven, then cut off the heat (to get them warmed up). Saute the eggplant with the mushrooms in oil in a covered casserole pot for 10-25 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 425F again. Mix everything together in a bowl, reserving some yellow split peas and cousous if necessary to achieve desired stuffing composition. Stuff the eggplant halves and bake for 10-15 minutes.
1. Toss everything into a blender and liquify.
1. Saute the shallot in a pan with some olive oil until almost caramelized.
2. Add the spinach and margarine.

If you don't already know, read up on the current famine in the Horn of Africa. Horrible things are happening in Somalia, so take some time out before eating a full meal to recognize that children are dying in the desert, and repent.

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