Garlic Roasting In An Open Oven . . .
It was eggplant and garlic roasting in an open oven, actually, but the words didn’t fit to “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” as well. The oven was open for me to stir the garlic in foaming butter and the eggplant in the balsamic vinegar marinade, but the combination of smells tempted me to stand at the door inhaling until it was time to eat.
Smells bring back memories, and smells create them. And even though I’ve never roasted either garlic or eggplant, it did both.
My first memories of eggplant come from a fuzzy picture in my mind of my brothers and sisters gathered around the kitchen table of our childhood gagging down the eggplant that my mother had cooked for us. I remembered it to be something akin to the Barf-o-Rama scene from Stand By Me, but in fairness to my mother, I’m sure it wasn’t anything like that.
As a teenager a friend offered me pasta salad with eggplant squash. When I hesitated, he assured me it probably was not the same food I associated with the first experience. For a few years, I actually convinced myself they were two different foods.
Now I know they are the same and actually enjoy eggplant. I even cook it on occasion to torture my children with eggplant memories of their own and redeem myself for torturing my mother with complaints.
Since we’ve been economizing, I haven’t cooked anything that excited me as much as this recipe for Roasted Eggplant and Garlic with Pasta.
When I saw, smell and tasted this whole package together I knew I’ve been deprived. Unfortunately, my children didn’t think the same thing. EH said, “I’ll have a banana,” and NH washed every bite of eggplant down with a swig of milk. Oh, well, someday maybe they’ll appreciate it.