The last time we talked about my picky eating habits, we were tackling bell peppers, and my sister-in-law's treatment of such, with the multiple peppers, corn, and black bean salad (called, in my house, "Deb's Salad", even when I warp it out of all recognition of her original, such as adding her most dreaded food: tomatoes), which taught me to not only tolerate, but enjoy red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. It's a feat I thought I'd never conquer, and I'm pretty happy that I am now open to this new thing that I never liked as a kid.
If people can acquire a taste for stuff like beer, which is not exactly health food, I can learn to like the multiple vegetables I've thus far deemed horrible.
Now that I've tackled peppers, I think I'm ready for aubergines. While I was visiting my friend Jamie's mum in upstate NY, there were more vegetables than I could count! They were all of excellent quality, and in abundance. Jamie commented that seeing the dinner table was like a Thanksgiving meal, with all the varieties. It really was most enjoyable.
Anyway. Her fiancee grilled the whole baby aubergines (each was the size of a small fist, but long too). They had no seeds to speak of. they were also firm to the touch when we started, and tender and juicy when finished. He served them with nothing more than a smear of tahini. That was it. No lemon juice, no herbs, no garlic, no nothing else. Just the aubergine with a bit of tahini. I liberally dosed mine with some salt, but neither he nor Jamie bothered with it. They enjoyed it as is.
It was quite tasty. The grilling brought out something different (there was apple wood in the smoking part of the grill) that regular roasting or frying doesn't quite do. The texture wasn't as slimy as I recall it being. Instead, it was cooked while retaining just a hint of firmness. And the tahini was absolutely the best complement to it ever.
I only ate one, but I think that I can bring myself to try more, as time goes on. Again, I'm not trying to rush at this, and get myself to like everything all the time, but am working, slowly but surely, at growing an appreciation for the plant kingdom.
EDIT: Here's something else I never saw myself doing: eating carrots by itself. Martha Stewart's carrot salad did the trick: