Eggplant isn’t part of my typical cooking repertoire, and I have only really prepared it a couple times before. Still, upon seeing some really healthy looking eggplants the other day at the market, I picked up a medium sized one to cook up. I was first thinking maybe eggplant and chickpeas, but when I came home late from work one night, I decided I wanted a lighter meal than even that.
I cubed the eggplant and sauteed it with a little bit of olive oil, garlic salt, coriander, and crushed red pepper. I kept stirring it for several minutes to ensure the cubes were cooking evenly. I started rummaging through the fridge to see what produce needed to be eaten before it went bad.
I roughly chopped up some asparagus and tossed it in the pan. I sliced up some jalapeno pepper and threw that in as well. Knowing the asparagus would take a few minutes more, I added some cut up kale and stirred some more. Once I knew my veggies were just about cooked to the point of still being nutrient-rich and crunchy, I added some baby spinach to the pan, covered it with more seasoning and a bit of curry, and covered the pan to let the spinach wilt and allow the steam to infuse the spices throughout the dish.
Less than two minutes later, I turn off the stove, stir it all up and have perfectly wilted spinach, eggplant, asparagus, and peppers with kale to enjoy. The meal turned out to be delicious — simple seasonings and natural flavors of produce. The leftovers were still tasty, although the eggplant softens up more as you reheat so if you’ve got texture issues — plan ahead. Another thought is to cook up the leftovers in an omelette if you eat eggs.
This isn’t a meal I would have thought to cook a few years ago, but I’m starting to realize more and more that whole foods are simple, healthy, and can be very tasty. Any one of these vegetables may not have been so exciting but the blend of flavors and textures was perfect. Soft eggplant, crunchy asparagus. Crispy kale, velvety wilted spinach.