It’s still early for traditional eggplant, but the tiny Fairy Tale variety is in full swing at the Greenmarket. Cuteness aside, Fairy Tales are less seedy than their large Italian counterparts and lack their bitterness. Choose especially petite eggplants (two-to-three-inchers are best) from the Norwich Meadows Farm stand to star in this summery side dish from Craft’s James Tracey.
James Tracey’s Caramelized Fairy Tale Eggplant
1 red pepper
15 small Fairy Tale eggplants
Olive oil to coat the pan, plus more for drizzling
2 tbs. aged balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tbs. for drizzling
1 tbs. dried oregano
1 tbs. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast red pepper, and allow to cool. (1) Remove skin and seeds and julienne, then set aside. (2) Wash eggplants, and halve lengthwise. Lightly coat a hot 16-inch sauté pan with olive oil, and set heat to medium-high. Add eggplant, and caramelize until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. (3) Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, then add the roasted pepper and herbs. Serve hot, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serves 2.