I decided to grow a Bonsai to better teach myself patience. Early in my second year of a five year residency program, I am learning that one cannot expect to all of a sudden be a good doctor—the time it takes to do this. The time it takes. I need to be reminded of the slowness of growing things right—so I now I have a little tree shoot that, if I take tender care of it, will just be ready for its first pruning when I am budding as an attending and double-boarded physician in 2020.
Braised meals are another reminder that slow cooking reaps rewards. Savory sauces are worth the wait.
Braised Eggplant with Garlic
Adapted from Food and Wine
2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 medium tomato, finely chopped (1 cup)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 long green peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
6 Italian baby eggplants (2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1.In a medium bowl, combine the onions with the tomato, garlic, peppers, parsley, sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Using your hands, knead the mixture until it is softened and well blended.
2.Peel the eggplants lengthwise at 1/2-inch intervals to create stripes. On one half of each eggplant, make 4 lengthwise slits halfway through the flesh. Rub the eggplants all over and in the slits with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3.Arrange the eggplants slit side up in an ovenproof baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Spoon the filling liberally into the slits; some will spill out. Drizzle the remaining 3/4 cup of olive oil over the eggplants and add 1/2 cup of water to the baking dish. Cover and bake for about 1 hour, until the eggplants are completely tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.
And a bonus:
Buffalo Mozzarella with Neat and Messy Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Food and Wine
2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
2 pounds cherry tomatoes on the vine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Two 8-ounce balls of buffalo mozzarella cheese, sliced
Crusty bread, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Arrange the halved cherry tomatoes cut side up on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the tomatoes are shriveled and half-dried. Remove from the oven.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350°. Arrange the cherry tomatoes on the vine on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Season with salt and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for about 1 hour, until the tomatoes soften and start to split open. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the tomatoes to a large platter. Arrange the dried tomatoes on the platter along with the mozzarella. Season with pepper and serve with crusty bread.
A little water everyday…