Semolina crusted roasted eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans

Semolina crusted eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans

Semolina crusted eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans

It’s been a strange day. It’s been a strange week. I started this hours ago, and I was going to talk very wisely about Au Hazard Balthazar, but nobody slept last night, it’s rained hard all day, and the power went out. So here we are, hours later, and everything feels very serious, very heavy. The anniversary of the March on Washington–fifty years–sets you thinking about how much has changed and how much has not, both in the country and in the lives of all the people that lived through it all, and are still living through it every day. I’m scared of another war and sick of awards shows of any kind. It’s hard to know where to turn your mind. Well! The other day I accidentally discovered this video of The Washboard Serenaders, and I just love it. They seem so happy and alive and glad to be together making music. They combine humbling amounts of speed and technical prowess with real grace and space, or so it seems to me. Kazoo!

I tried to find more information on them, and apparently they were a loose collection of musicians that collaborated and travelled under various names, and went on to work with other groups in other styles. I love the idea of artistic collaboration, be it musical, or visual, or filmic. Especially when they’re bursting with love for what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with, as they seem to be here.

Here’s another video of The Washboard Rhythm Kings, with some astounding washboardery.

Semolina coated eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans

Semolina coated eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans

More crispy eggplant! Which is really the only way I like it. I combined slices of eggplant with slices of potato and big buttery butter beans, marinated them with fresh herbs, coated them all with egg and semolina flour, and roasted them in olive oil till they were crispy. They need a sauce, too, I think. We ate them with a spicy sauce made from fresh tomatoes and baby spinach, but any simple tomato sauce will do.

Here’s a whole album of The Washboard Rhythm Kings.


3 small eggplants
2 largish potatoes
1 can butterbeans, rinsed and drained
about 2 – 3 T olive oil
1 – 2 t balsamic vinegar
small handful fresh herbs–sage, rosemary, thyme
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (+/-) semolina flour
black pepper
salt & pepper
more olive oil, to cook

Peel the eggplant and slice it into 1/8th inch rounds. Spread them in a single layer and lightly salt them. Let sit for about 1/2 an hour, after which time pat them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Peel or scrub the potatoes, and slice them in half lengthwise and then into 1/8th inch slices.

Combine the eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans in a roasting pan big enough to hold them all in close to a single layer. Mix them with the oil, vinegar and spices. You want enough oil to just coat them all slightly. Let them sit and marinate for at least fifteen minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425. Pour the egg over the veg & beans, and stir to coat everything lightly. Pour the semolina over and season well with pepper. Using a fork, mix the semolina in, trying to separate the vegetables and be sure they all get nicely coated.

Spread olive oil in a light layer on a baking sheet, and arrange the potatoes, eggplant and beans in a single layer. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are as soft inside as you like them. Stir from time to time to ensure even browning.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with a sauce of some kind. We had a spicy fresh tomato, baby spinach sauce, made by sauteeing tomatoes in garlic, shallot, herbs and red pepper flakes, and stirring in baby spinach, balsamic and butter at the end.

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