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Eggplant stew on a Saturday

The first farmers’ market of the season took place today.  We shopped for produce between rainfalls.  We brought home a few heavy bagfuls of goodies, but the star of the morning for me was the baby eggplants Miriam was selling at her booth.

I gravitated toward Nigel Slater’s book Tender to prepare these gems.  With so many succulent recipes to choose from, I finally decided upon a simple aromatic stew that had all the makings of the type of comforting lunch one would want to eat on a rainy day.

Cardamom, coriander and turmeric give this meal a deep and earthy flavor, while a generous dose of cracked black pepper, sliced garlic and ginger cut into matchsticks brightens the dish up with their spice.

We love turmeric so much that when I reached for the bottle I discovered it was empty, and I began texting neighbors to ask if I could come by to borrow some.  I called my husband; I was in a bit of a panic.  Happily, Will reminded me that we had some turmeric root lurking around in the fridge and so I used that instead.  I love how turmeric turns everything this gorgeous orange/yellow.  My fingers still bare a bit of the stain despite washing my hands right after.  Another aspect of this dish that I like so much is that Nigel uses both turmeric and black pepper; I have read in several places that black pepper helps the body to absorb/activate the components in turmeric that are anti-inflammatory.

The only thing I might possibly add next time around is a finishing swirl of vegan yogurt.  While the heat is somewhat tempered by the coconut milk that the dish is cooked in, I still love a last touch for added richness.

W.

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