What is a blog entry without a picture?
Probably a recipe posting of mashed roasted eggplant which is extremely tasty, but mushed eggplant just doesn't photograph well. Besides, it's already been eaten.
The way you pick an eggplant is to pick one with a rich dark purple color with taut shiny skin. The more wrinkly it is, the older it is. Also the older it is the more the seeds become prominent.
Middle Eastern Roasted Eggplant Salad (of sorts)
1 large eggplant
1 head of garlic
2 t lemon juice (or to taste)
1/2 t red pepper flakes
some drizzles of olive oil
Take head of garlic and drizzle oil on it and wrap it in foil twice.
Set oven to 450 F and set eggplant in a dish or on foil and place the garlic in there too. Poke the eggplant all over with a sharp object. Wait until one side is charred and then make it roll over and then keep charring. At some point the eggplant will start to get saggy and look deflated. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. By this time, the garlic will be roasted as well (this all takes about 45 minutes).
Incise the eggplant and remove and discard all the seeds. Cut off the top and discard as well. Mash. In a bowl include two of the roasted garlic cloves and continue the mashing process. At this point include the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and drizzle the entire thing with oil.
This tastes fabulous on a cold plate or maybe a great 'sauce' over some cold pasta on a sunny day.