Here are two recipes that pair nicely together and are a refreshing change from that tired chicken-and-broccoli train to boring town: roasted, wonderfully spiced eggplant from Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi and herbed flank steak from Bobby Flay.
Spiced Eggplant, originally published in Bon Appetit magazine
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon peel (Preserved lemons have been soaked in salt and lemon juice for several weeks. I got one at the Whole Foods cheese counter. You can also make them on your own or find them at Middle Eastern markets, if you’re lucky enough to live near one!)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced and smashed into a paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
- 2 medium eggplants (9–10 ounces each), halved lengthwise
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°. Stir 1/4 cup oil, next 7 ingredients, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl for spice mix.
- Score flesh of each eggplant half with 1/2″-deep diagonal crisscrossing lines, spacing 1″ apart (do not cut through skin). Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over cut side of each half, allowing it to soak in. Season lightly with salt.
- Brush or spoon spice mix over, dividing evenly. Place eggplants, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until soft and very tender in center, 50–60 minutes.
- Serve eggplant warm or at room temperature.
Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak, from Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill
Serves 4; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the marinade)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 (1 ½- to 1 ¾-pound) beef or bison flank steak
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Whisk together the vinegar, the oil, the garlic and rosemary in a large dish (or use a thick, sealable plastic bag). Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours, turning every 2 hours.
2. Heat your grill to high.
3. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crusty, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn steak over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes more.
4. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into ½ inch thick slices against the grain of the meat.