The day of my CSA pickup, I get emailed a list of what I’ll be receiving in my share for that week. Most of the time, the descriptions are pretty basic (blueberries, escarole) or are variations that, while unfamiliar, are otherwise straightforward (8-ball zucchini? dinosaur kale?) adaptations of a better known ingredient. But then I’ll come across something in the list that really throws me for a loop. That was the case with fairytale eggplant. Small and delicate, they don’t really lend themselves to a lot of the standard eggplant treatments. My first move is always to do some thorough Google research, and when I did, i found this New York Magazine recipe for caramelized eggplant.
It’s a simple recipe: slice the eggplant lengthwise, sauté in some olive oil until caramelized, deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, and season with herbs. It’s a great, quick side dish.
The original recipe recommends 2-3 inch eggplant for this recipe, and I think that is the key. I had some larger fairytale eggplants that I cut into 2-3 inch pieces, but I found the skin on some of them to be tough, although they softened up after a day in the fridge and made great leftovers.
Caramelized Fairytale Eggplant, adapted from NY Magazine
15 very small Fairy Tale eggplants
Olive oil to coat the pan
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste