Dark luscious figs and shiny purple aubergines –- these fruits embody summer for me. (For though we regard it as a vegetable, the aubergine is botanically a fruit.)
There is nothing quite like the soft, sweet yielding flesh of a fig just at the perfect moment of ripeness. I had imagined that cream cheese might go nicely with it, but on actually sampling it, perhaps plain cream might have been a better choice. At any rate, a perfect fig on its own is heaven enough.
And aubergines, or eggplants — as I child I did not care for them at all. But now? They have become one of my favourites. Especially when made into Middle Eastern delights, such as this Imam Bayildı, made the other day by M.
Meltingly tender, and with such a well-balanced seasoning of garlic, onions, cumin, and pepper in the tomato sauce that no individual spice stands out on its own to be detectable.
Perhaps that is the original reason for the Imam fainting, as the origin of this dish’s name goes. Not because of the huge amount of oil used by his wife to cook his favourite dish, but by its swooningly delicate flavouring. In this case, a gender reversal, as M did the cooking, and all I did was the appreciating.
Have a great start to the week, my friends!