Recipe Source: Anonymous. A Translation of a 17th Century Romanian Cookbook. P. Levesque, trans. The book is available online here.
I wil be the first to admit that eggplant is kind of a hard sell. Everyone knows someone who was hideously traumatized by the stuff at some point in his life. Maybe they've only had super-greasy eggplant Parm, or maybe they tried an especially bitter example at some point in their history. Medieval tales from the Middle East refer both to good and bad feelings about eggplant - often coming from the same person. Well, I was never traumatized by eggplant. I quite like the stuff. I've also, on repeated occasions, convinced other people to take second helpings of a vegetable they had previously loathed.
I don't think I'm some kind of great culinary goddess. I just know what I think will taste good. I served this at a recent Sunday dinner as one of the actual medieval dishes I shared that day. I never had much knowledge of Romanian cooking, but what I saw in this book seemed pretty tasty so I went with it. The results were pretty well received. I was a little disappointed that it came out looking quite so much like goo, but I guess I should have expected that. Either way, it was a pretty easy dish to make so try it sometime when you have eggplant on hand.
Eggplants with Cinnamon (serves 12; approx. $0.98/serving)
3 eggplants, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, diced
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup amond milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
10 sage leaves
10 sprigs thyme
10 sprigs oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more to taste
2 teasoons pepper
- Large saucepan
- Fill the large saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
- Add the eggplants and boil about 20 minutes.
- Drain the eggplants and wipe out the saucepan.
- Heat the oil in the saucepan.
- Add the onions with the kosher salt. Saute until translucent.
- Add the drained eggplant. Saute about 5 minutes.
- Add the water, spices, herbs, lemon juice and almond milk. Bring to a boil.
- Boil until the eggplants are well tender and the sauce is somewhat reduced.
- Transfer to your serving bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.