By: Deanna Linder
I have a theory on couples. This theory works on about 50% of the population of couples and it states that many couples, despite their appearance at the beginning of the relationship will eventually end up looking alike, physically. My brother and sister-in-law look more like brother and sister than do I and my brother. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law look so much alike that I think they should even do a DNA test before having children (too far, I know). I even know an inter-racial couple, who now, after 8 years of being together, look more alike every day.
Me and my other half are on the other end of that 50%. No matter how much time has passed (12 years, but who’s counting), we still don’t resemble each other in the slightest. What has happened though, is a sort of molding, or gravitation to each other’s culinary habits. He’ll eat anchovies now (most of the time he doesn’t know it), and I’ll even eat breakfast for dinner, which goes almost against my American-dinner is the biggest meal- upbringing. On the down side, I have also been influenced by his gastronomic nuisances and have nearly cut out eggplants completely from my diet, because the guy won’t go near them in any form other than Sabich (Israeli street food sandwich).
It’s quite a shame that I don’t cook or eat eggplants, because it is such an interesting vegetable which takes on a new form in each different way it is cooked. This is a popular American/Italian dish which I’m surprised hasn’t made it into the repertoire of more eggplant loving Israeli kitchens.
Some tips before getting started:
Adapted from Martha Stewart:
Ingredients for a 9-by-13-inch (25×30 cm.)baking dish:
2 large eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons parmesan, finely grated
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 large eggplants, sliced into ¼-inch (1 cm.) rounds
6 cups (48 ounces, 1400 grams) basic tomato sauce (see recipe below)
1½ cups mozzarella, shredded
Basic Tomato Sauce
This sauce is from Mario Batali’s book Molto Italiano and it works for me every time. This quantity will give you a little more than you need for this dish, but you can freeze the rest (for 6 months) or store it in the fridge for up to one week.
Ingredients for 8 cups:
½ cup olive oil
2 Spanish onions, cut into ¼-inch dice
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 carrot, finely shredded
4 cans (28 oz./800 grams each) whole tomatoes