Seven Ways to Prepare Eggplant

Eggplant! Photo: David Monniaux

Last night I was chatting with John Pomeranz, the Washington Revels board member and sometime chorus member who is making the food for the cast party in a couple of weeks. He chastised me for not having previously mentioned that we’re singing a whole song about food. It’s called “Siete modos de guisar las barenjenas”–Seven Ways to Prepare Eggplant–and, well, that’s what it is. I promised I’d send him the recipes, so here they are, just in time for Thanksgiving.

1. Vava – Cut it into bite-sized pieces and serve it for supper.

2. Dolma – Hollow it out and fill it with herbs.

3. Almondrote – Hollow it out and fill it with rice.

4. Alburnia – Ok, the song doesn’t actually give this recipe, but I can tell you that it’s tasty and you should eat it before the worm gets to it.

5. Jandrajo – Little pastries of eggplant, served with hard-boiled eggs.

6. Maljasina salad – Make it with a lot of olive oil and serve it with leftover hen.

7. Meyina – In the oven with an open dish with oil and pepper.

Ok, I didn’t say they were detailed recipes. If you don’t feel up to the recipes, maybe you’ll take inspiration from the chorus: “My uncle Cerasi likes to drink wine. Lots of it. He feels fine.”

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7 Replies to “Seven Ways to Prepare Eggplant”

  1. Well, we’re definitely going to have to have some eggplant then! I was thinking about a nice Moroccan-style vegetable stew or roasted vegetables, and it will have to feature eggplant! (Don’t worry, Uncle Cerasi, we’ll take care of you too — assuming you’re not in the teen chorus!)

  2. My two personal favorite ways to cook eggplant are Israeli-style baba ghannouj – roasted eggplant with mayo, shallots, and za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix) – and eggplant cacciatore. I wonder how you would describe them in Ladino…

    1. Well the problem was that Maljasina rhymes with gallina but not pollo which would have been a better word to describe it. If you translate gallina directly it means LIVE chicken. Then again this isn’t actually Spanish so I don’t know if pollo would be the proper word in this case but you get the idea. On the topic of translations, I am still trying to get a better idea of the actual meaning of Riu Riu before I sing it because it’s translation is similarly awkward.

  3. Every year for Thanksgiving I make caponata. It’s a tradition I started in my family many years ago. The eggplant cooks for over an hour with celery, onions, tomato, olives, capers, vinegar and sugar. When it’s done it literally melts in your mouth. Spread it on a baguette and follow with some red wine –I think Tio Cerasi would be very happy.

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