Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

La Biblioteca Gourmande, a lazy catalan lunch

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Fried eggplant appetizer with cumin and honey

It has been a few months since we have been back from the Barcelona vacation. Not surprisingly I have been caught up with the  business of life. However, I am still clinging to a few things from Barcelona. In particular, I have been on a quest to perfect gin martini. Thanks to my local alcohol purveyor, K&L wines, getting hold of a good bottle of gin is not that difficult. My last bottle was Faultline and the current one is Citadelle. Both excellent but the martini is still missing the romance of L’Ascensor. Husband says I need some grey hair before I can arrive at the perfect martini and perhaps he is right.

Thinking back on the vacation, Barcelona memory constitutes of a series of perfect meals. And a perfect lunch  among this series was La Biblioteca Gourmande, a catalan bistro. Although located in the touristy El Raval area, this one didn’t appear to be touristy at all. Our server didn’t know a word of English. And yet, we ended up with a very memorable lunch.

Blood and bread pudding, might easily be the best blood pudding … definitely on par with New Orleans.

Fried fish of the day

Steak and vegetables

Caramelized slice of bread with Crème fraîche, stunning in its simplicity.

Highlight for me was a fried eggplant appetizer with cumin and honey. Even Ottolenghi’s 1001 eggplant dishes hadn’t quite prepared me for sweetened eggplant. Not only was this delicious, it was so memorable that I had to attempt a version at home. And here is what I have come up with which is a little less sweet than the Biblioteca version but bloody darn good:

Cut an Indian eggplant, in 1 cm slices, score the slices in a criss cross fashion without cutting through, salt and leave for an hour to sweat. Wipe dry, brush with olive oil and broil each side until surface is dark and inside is creamy. This gets the eggplant very close to frying, a trick I learnt from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. In the meantime, make a vinaigrette with roasted cumin seeds, honey, lemon juice and olive oil. Drizzle on hot eggplant and let cool. Serve at room temperature and be glad that humans figured out how to eat an eggplant and invented good things like broilers and vinaigrettes.

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Written by locomotoring

December 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

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