Flambeed Eggplant with Plums

2 medium eggplants
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup eau de vie or marc
Persillade: 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and 2 cloves, garlic, minced
6 - 8 fresh plums, pitted and, quartered
salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the skin from the eggplant and slice into 1 inch slices. Salt them on each side and let sit for about 30 minutes to draw their water. Then rinse well under cold water and dry.

Cut the eggplant slices into a large dice, about 1 inch square. Pour the olive oil into a skillet over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, add enough eggplant to cover the bottom of the pan. Toss well with wooden spoons so the eggplant is coated with oil. Saut�, shaking the pan to prevent the vegetable from sticking to the bottom. Cook until the eggplant starts to brown.

Once it has browned, carefully flamb� the vegetable with half the eau de vie. When the flame goes out, cover the pan, turn the heat to low and continue cooking until the eggplant collapses. Don't cook it so long it turns to mush; it should hold its shape. When cooked, set the vegetable aside. Repeat the procedure for the second and subsequent batches until all the eggplant is cooked.

Put all the eggplant back into the skillet and rewarm. Toss in the persillade; when completely warm, toss in the quartered plums and serve at once.



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