I know a lot of you may be confused by this title…but don’t worry, it will all make sense in two paragraphs or so. Two of our favorite foods in this household are goat cheese (fresh goat cheese from Spain) and dates (medjool are incredible). Now combined…a match made in heaven! But the problem is, when combined in restaurants, they are generally wrapped in bacon. Yes, this is delicious, but it does not fly in my household. So, what is a goat cheese and date loving girl supposed to do to mimic this incredible salty, sweet, creamy flavor? And that my friends, is where eggplant comes in. I spotted this recipe and was immediately intrigued.
The only change I made was to leave out the liquid smoke as Adam is not a fan of smokey flavors. Honestly, and I’m being totally serious, these are DELICIOUS! Just as, or even more delicious, then the actual bacon wrapped dates. Now of course, the eggplant doesn’t taste like bacon…I mean, how could it? But the flavor from the marinade really compliments the goat cheese stuffed dates. Seriously try it, ok?
Eggplant was not only used as bacon in my kitchen, but as a meaty steak. In a recent issue of Bon Appetite, I learned about chef Yotam Ottolenghi. A London-based chef, Ottolenghi uses modern techniques to cook vegetables and layers flavors in such interesting and unique ways. His food his simple and everything is made from scratch. This spiced eggplant with bulgur salad recipe looked and sounded so interesting that I immediately tore it from my magazine and set it aside to be used in that weeks dinner menu.
Reading the ingredients in the bulgur salad…olives, capers, pistachios…it sounded a bit odd, but this combination of different flavors really worked. And together with the spicy eggplant and cool, creamy yogurt…a party in your mouth! And the eggplant really was “meaty”… you don’t miss an actual steak at all! I definitely want to try more of Ottolenghi’s recipes and his cookbook Plenty looks beautiful. So now you understand why eggplant really is the new red meat!