Friday, September 18, 2009

Purple Rain.

The weather in Athens has been about as dreary as weather can be. The rain keeps falling, and the forecast keeps predicting more rain. John wakes up in the morning, peers out the window and sighs. As I drove to a local coffee shop (Walkers, my favorite) to get some writing finished, the DJ announced thunderstorms for the rest of the week, and then decided to commemorate the weather with a rather depressing tune by Tom Waits.

When I heard the song I realized I wasn't feeling as miserable about the weather as most people. Secretly, I love the rain. Nothing validates a cozy visit to the couch and with an alluring novel and a hot cup of tea quite like an overcast backdrop. However, I realize that some people (my husband included) get a little stir crazy with all this rain about, and so I have decided to commemorate what may end up being over two full weeks of scattered thunderstorms with a nod to the eggplant.

"Why the eggplant?" you ask. The obvious answer is that it looks - with its plump arresting figure - exactly like a raindrop. And right now it is fully in season. I love the way it sort of dangles down on its stem like a giant sized raindrop waiting to fall from a child-size umbrella. I also love to touch its glossy-slick exterior. The skin itself looks refreshing and clean, like it's just been polished by an adoring housekeeper.

Though it isn't the kind of vegetable people line up at market stands for, those who do know how to prepare an eggplant aren't the sort who would pass it up. One of the most popular presentations for it is the ever-delicious Eggplant Parmigiana. John and I made this dish on a sopping Saturday night, and have found it to be a perfect recipe in its entirety. (The link will take you to the Kitchen Bible's recipe, which is the recipe we used). As an aside, I'd like to gently insist that you never buy any of your cheeses pre-shredded. I've learned (the hard way) that the flavor evaporates quickly once cheese is shredded so it's best to buy the block and shred yourself.

You won't be sorry. And believe me when I tell you that the results of this Parmigana are divine. And right now is the time to snatch up the last of the tomatoes and pluck a few sleek eggplant from your farmer's market - along with some fresh basil - and make this adoringly sweet, fragrant, mouth-watering dish. Play your own homage to the rain - and to the eggplant (Purple Rain, perhaps?) with this dish, because before you know it, the rain will clear out and it'll be gone.


Anonymous said...

I love eggplant parmigiana. I was already planning to take some friends the dish for dinner tomorrow, using a recipe that I have made several times. Thanks for the tip on the cheese and I will make the one from the Kitchen Bible instead ! Will let you know how it turns out. I prepared it last week for a little dinner party I had for neighbors and included a salad with fresh greens, sliced pears, blue cheese and a champagne dressing. It was easy and everyone raved. How nice.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to add the avacodos to the salad.

Earth Fare said...

That sounds absolutely delicious. And, it looks good too! I'm a late-comer to eggplant, but I have to admit that I love it.

And, p.s., I love the rain as well!

Misty Faucheux

Anonymous said...

Our guests just left and I must say that your recipe topped the one I have been using. It was fabulous! I'm putting this easy and scrumptious recipe on the top ten list of great food to serve friends when you don't want to spend a lot of money but you want to treat them to something really good. Many thanks, Annie.

anna j said...

Sounds delicious--thanks, Annie! Did you know that there's an added benefit to this delicious vegetable as well, in that it is traditionally believed to have aphrodesiac effects? ;-)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin