Vanilla Goes with Eggplant

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The other day I tossed some scraped out vanilla pods into a half a bottle of vodka. The vodka is turning all carmel colored and smells beautiful. It's not as strong as extract, but definitely Vanilla...and it makes a great screwdriver variation.

Making a simple eggplant and cherry tomato steam-fry this weekend, the eggplant chunks weren't steaming quickly enough, so I grabbed the vanilla vodka, splashed some in the pan and the result was delicious. The vanilla scented the eggplants but didn't overwhelm them. The cherry tomatos were picquant. I added a bit of salt and pepper and that was a third of our dinner.

Nothing was measured, so I can't give you a proper recipe. It was equal quantities of tomato (half a dozen largish cherry tomatoes from a farm stand) and eggplant (2 small Japanese ones) and maybe a 1/4 cup of vanilla vodka.

The other two dishes that night were green beans with fried garlic and dried chilies, and asparagus and mushrooms with lemon and black pepper. All three cooked sequentially in the same pan using the steam-fry technique. (Except the garlic which was fried in oil to make it brown and crispy)

The whole dinner was the gleanings of our vegetable drawer. Just odds and ends and leftovers turned into something memorable. We eat like this a lot and most of the time it is nothing special, but this vanilla eggplant dish was worth noting for future meals.

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