Alon Shaya

We have had the great pleasure of meeting, knowing, or being related to so many interesting and talented people over the years. It’s really helped to open our eyes to the wider world, out there.

One person we haven’t met yet, is Chef Alon Shaya – but we know his Mom really well. In our world, that counts for a lot.

Alon was born in Israel, raised down the road from us in Haverford, went to the CIA, and won the James Beard Award for Best Chef South, in 2015. We have an autographed copy of his cookbook, Shaya An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel and got to watch him cooking and sharing recipes on The Today Show on TV, yesterday, with his Mom.  She’s not proud of him. Much. She just beamed the whole time he was on the telly, plus, we got background information on the recipes and how they originated. It’s good to know people…

He did three eggplant recipes from his cookbook, and, since we’re always looking for eggplant ideas, made one of them for dinner, tonight. Quick and easy – and bursting with flavor. The kid has talent.

The recipe is on the Today Show website but you should seriously think about buying the cookbook. There are a lot of truly interesting recipes and great flavor combinations.

The smells wafting through the house brought Victor into the kitchen, drooling. The tomato paste, alone, was really out of this world, and combined with the roasted vegetables and couscous, it was stellar. My only change to the recipe was using roasted garlic, since Victor had roasted some yesterday, and chopping up a fried hot pepper and mixing it all in. In our house, anything will benefit from a bit of heat, and it contrasted nicely with the salty olives and the sweet tomato, eggplant, and zucchini.

Alon Shaya

The bread was a slice of Raisin Walnut Sourdough Bread I made yesterday. It went well.

This really is one of those dishes that absolutely anyone will like – and it can be tweaked and played with to suit your tastes.

Put it on the rotation!