Shopping with a kid can be a fun random-vegetable generator for the home menu. It can also involve many pleading lunges for the infinite variety of ghastly sugared crap all conveniently arrayed about three feet off the floor for maximum grabability. For the most part, though, it’s enjoyable, and we end up bringing home things I wouldn’t normally get, like eggplant in April. They were too big and shiny to resist, and it’s hard to argue with a 3 1/2 year-old who begs you to buy vegetables for him.
When I make this, I never bread and fry the eggplant slices. It’s unhealthy, way too messy, and it takes forever. Instead I peel and brush them with a little olive oil and broil them until they’re light brown and bubbly. With the addition of a jar of our own tomatoes- blended, strained, and reduced- plus herbs, a little pesto, and lots of fresh mozzarella on top, it made a nice tribute to out-of-season goodness. I’m ordering tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds right now, and it was a treat to taste a preview of what we’ll be doing in fine style a few months from now.