>> Monday, August 22, 2011
No, I was not missing. I was on vacation. The summer is hot here in the Spanish plateau, so we always flee from here for at least a week and head north. To wherever north. But... to the point: this post deals with Almagro aubergines or berenjenas. Almagro is a beautiful village in the plain of La Mancha, packed with historic highlights and known for its lacemakers and yearly Classical Theater festival. But also for its pickled baby aubergines. I love them. In Madrid you can spot them canned in any good food shop or supermarket, but I had never found them fresh. Till last week. I entered my favourite greengrocer's and there they were. Plump and fresh, waiting for me. So I felt the urge to buy 4 pounds, just in case. In case I get a craving for pickled baby aubergines in the middle of the winter.
Almagro aubergines are a unique product from several villages of La Mancha. They are harvested while still small and unripe, and marinated in a dressing that normally includes vinegar, salt, cumin, garlic, sweet pimentón and olive oil in varying amounts, where they must remain up to a week before being eaten. They are sometimes stuffed with sweet red pepper. Like all things pickled or marinated, they are very easy to prepare, so their secret lies in the quality of the product and the seasoning. I especially love them on a bread slice, oozing their red sour juices. They are served as a tapa in the land of Don Quixote. I first tasted these eggplants an indecent amount of time ago, while visiting Almagro on a lacespotting expedition. I used to make bobbin lace before I had any kids. Sigh...
Being that Almagro aubergines are hard to find outside La Mancha, you can always try with any baby aubergines you might find.
Pickled aubergines Almagro style
Now I can face the end of summer sure that my family won't run short of aubergines in a while... Winter is coming.