Eggplant, take two.
I took another stab at eggplant last night with eggplant parmesan at our favorite Italian restaurant, Bambinelli’s. It’s a family-owned place with tacky décor and a gross number of photos of the Bambinellis and their kids and famous Italians and the Sopranos, which gives me the impression they take being Italian seriously, so I felt good entrusting them with contributing this fundamental Italian dish to the project. But just in case, I ordered another combo meal of sausage, chicken and eggplant parmesan with shells and cheese. It was an absurd, excessive amount of food, but after the portabella burger debacle, I can’t take any chances. I don’t want to go hungry.
While we were waiting for the food to arrive Naysayer Jon warned me that eggplant is another one of those vegetables that vegetarians like to trick you into believing tastes like meat, but really, it tastes like eggplant. Then I started to worry. Because of the portabella burger debacle. I had at least covered my bases so I wouldn’t starve, but I still have to win, and disliking a vegetable or not being able to add it to my diet permanently means I don’t win. I fretted.
Miss Server Lady brought out my combo meal (which they call the DaVinci Code or some shit) and I poked around my plate again, trying to identify what was what. (I swear, I did actually eat before this project, but the food really was all beige…and I am a seriously good beige food connoisseur.) Once I had established what I was pretty sure was eggplant, I closed my eyes, held my nose, and…
So is it just me or does eggplant have no taste? Or texture. Or anything. I couldn’t really say for sure that the blob on my plate covered in sauce and cheese was anything more than a vehicle for sauce and cheese.
I’m really torn on how to call it. Is this just what you do with eggplant? Cover it, stuff it, fry it until you can’t taste it? I mean, I didn’t vomit on myself so I would call that a relative success, but I still don’t think I would ever say, oh yeah, eggplant, mmmmm, my favorite! I’m not calling it yet. I won’t be home tomorrow night so I’ll try again Friday with grilled home-growns. Friday, take three. And Saturday I’m frying them bitches.