When buyng fruits and vegetables for one. it makes sense to look for the smallest produce available. Most fresh fruits and vegetable are not uniform in size; even grapes on the same vine vary in color, size, and ripeness.
Consider the eggplant. Eggplants are not uniform in shape or size, and it's just as easy to find a small one as it is a large one. On Saturday I bought an eggplant at the farmers market, along with a tiny zucchini and several tomatoes. About the size of my open hand, the eggplant was perfect for one.
At home, I cut the eggplant in half; with the first half I prepared a gratin d’aubergines, adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II. I sliced the eggplant and layered it in my gratin dish with tomato and fresh mozarella to create a single serving eggplant gratin.
I cubed the second half of the eggplant, and along with the zucchini, another tomato, and an onion from my pantry, I slowly roasted them to create a classic Provençal ratatouille, also adapted from Julia Child's cookbook. Coupled with a protein, or atop couscous or rice, this fragrant stew is a perfect weeknight meal.
As you can see, with the right pantry staples and a little planning, one eggplant = two meals. But it doesn't have to be eggplant. It can be a bunch of asparagus, a small squash, or petit cauliflower. The idea is to think of your vegetables as more than one meal.
So, think of your favorite vegetable; what are two ways you can prepare it to create two delicious and distinctly different meals for one?
Next post: Chatting with the butcher