When I began making dinner on Saturday night, my intent was to roast eggplant and bell peppers, but I did not have a baking sheet. My modification was to use a large skillet and saute the vegetables instead. I used balsamic vinegar because I love it for its sweet yet tart properties. If you did not know, this type of vinegar is made from the juice of fermented white grapes. The flavor is distinct, strong and sweet. It has been carefully aged to perfection and has a dark coloration. It is wonderful for marinades, salad dressings, reduction sauces and more. The trick is to not overpower the dish with the flavor, but to allow it to intensify the other flavors that are present. I’d like to mention that I am fully aware of the fact that people either love or hate eggplant. Most food likes and dislikes are associated with texture. Be sure not to overcook your eggplant to avoid the slimy texture. Always blot eggplant with a dry paper towel after washing. The excess water can also contribute to an undesired texture.
You will need:
- 1 Medium-sized eggplant
- 1 Large skillet or wok
- 2 Bell peppers, any color is fine
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Garlic salt
- Sea salt
- 1. Cut eggplant into halves and then fourths and then cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cut bell peppers in half, seed them and then rough chop. Pieces should be about approximately 1×1 inch.
- In a large skillet on medium high, heat EVOO. Once heated, spread eggplant evenly in the skillet. It will only need to cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side; any longer, and they will become a slimy texture which can be attributed to why so many are not fond of eggplant.
- Generously pour (2 to 3 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar over vegetables while they cook. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp of sea salt over the vegetables.
- After flipping the eggplant pieces over, add bell pepper. Bell pepper will cook for just a short time so that it remains crisp and flavorful. Cook as a stirfry at this point making sure all pieces are cooked well.
*We served this dish with garlic mashed potatoes, which were a great compliment to the sweetness of the sauteed vegetables, and very thin pan-seared porkchops cooked with sea salt, garlic and olive oil.
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