Bread and butter. Strawberries and cream. Proenza and Schouler. Blomkvist and Salander. I’m not simply saying that some things go together, I’m saying that they complement each other, they amplify each other, and their sum is greater than their parts.
Take, for example, eggplant and tomato. They grow together, they’re picked together, and most importantly, they create the most amazing flavor together. I can’t help but believe that nature wants us to follow its cues. In fact, earlier this week I simply roasted eggplant and tomatoes together, took the tray out of the oven, and poured it over pasta. It’s a marvelously versatile combination.
Today we have a delightful, late-summer dish that will leave you with a satisfied smile. The soup and crouton are satisfying, and the fish is simply prepared and light. For those of you interested in economy, it will stress neither your grocery bill nor your time. It’s also very easy and looks lovely when served.
September Turbot in Aubergine Soup
2 1/3 lb Turbot Fillets
½ of a medium-sized eggplant, cubed
1 lb of tomatoes, roughly chopped (1/4 cup reserved)
½ white onion, diced
2 healthy slices of rustic bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
Salt, pepper, olive oil, small handful of chopped herbs
In a medium-sized pan, add a glug of olive oil and soften the onions over medium heat, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and eggplant, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blitz. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350˚. Cover the bottom of a roasting dish with parchment paper to keep the fish from sticking. Rinse your turbot fillets under cold water. Season with salt and pepper and gently fold the fillets in half, skin side in, placing them next to one another in the dish. PK tip: Salt your fish just before you’re ready to cook it. Salting too early will dry it out. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until fish is no longer translucent and has just begun to flake.
Toast your bread. While still hot, rub each slice generously with your garlic clove. The toast acts as a nice “grater.”
To serve: Pour several ladlefuls into the bottom of two warm, shallow bowls. Place your toast in the middle, about ½ submerged. Place your fish filet atop the bread. Garnish with reserved tomatoes, chopped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serve with a Sauvignon Blanc, Indaba, perhaps? Very cheap and cheerful. Also found regularly at Fresh Market and Whole Foods.
Playlist included the enchantingly Icelandic Hafdis Huld.