This recipe, from Bon Appetit, May 1999, uses canned tomatoes but it’s so good that I use it all year around.
Fresh Rosemary tends to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on insect inspection.
3 large eggplants (about 3 pounds total), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup pitted black olives, sliced
Toss eggplant with 1 tablespoon salt in large colander. Set colander over bowl. Let stand 30 minutes to allow excess liquid to drain from eggplant. Using paper towels, pat eggplant dry. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, onions and garlic. Cook until eggplant is almost tender and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add rosemary; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices and tomato paste. Simmer uncovered until flavors blend and sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in olives and simmer 5 minutes longer. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
Fresh Herbs and Insect Infestation:
Fresh rosemary and other herbs (including thyme, basil, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, cilantro and sage) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used.
Recommendation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used.
1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.