Fairy Tale Eggplants start to pop up at the Farmer's Market and grocers in the middle of summer. These charming nightshades are lovely roasted whole, served with a smokey romesco, pickled shallots, marcona almonds, and honey.
yields 1 plate
Roasted Fairy Tale Eggplants:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with foil, place eggplants on pan. Coat each eggplant with a thin layer of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast eggplants in oven until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes- make sure to flip eggplants halfway through the roasting process. Remove eggplants from oven, and set aside.
On your serving plate: spoon some of your romesco sauce directly onto the middle of the plate, then spread to form a large circle. Plate roasted eggplants directly on romeso, side-by-side. Lay pickled shallots across the middle of all four eggplants, in a line. Sprinkle chopped marcona almonds, the a few chives directly on shallots. Drizzle honey around the circumference of the romesco, and directly on the eggplants. Finish with flake salt and cracked pepper.
beer: American Porter. Cooking the eggplants at such high heat imparts some caramelization and char, adding to roast of the porter. The romesco imparts a touch of heat; the porter compliments this and adds to the complexity. Some beers to look for: Deschuttes Black Butte, Flying Dog Road Dog, Odell Cutthroat.
cocktail: Yellow Nectarine Sangria