I was having lunch with a friend who was telling me about her recent visit to an interstate branch of her office. One staff member was so excited that she was visiting that he brought in his slow cooker and began preparing a dish that he had become known for. They were pork ribs that were slow cooked for hours until they fell off the bone. These ribs were so soft and divine that even the brown bone could be eaten along with the meat. It was as good an excuse for the office to congregate and eat the ribs and that evening, the staff gathered to eat the ribs.
"It was so hard to tell him that I'm a vegetarian" Jennifer said smiling at the sweet gesture and the lost ribs.
It would be times like that where I couldn't be a vegetarian. I adore pork ribs and the fact that a colleague had spent hours making it for a visit meant that if I were to be one, I would be a very bad vegetarian eating meat when I could make an excuse for it. Still, Jennifer maintained her vegetarianism and the ribs would be a sweet gesture but nothing more. "I can't vouch for them personally but everyone else seemed to love them."
However there are times when I could be a vegetarian. And eating this dish is one of them. It's an adaption of the Ottolenghi eggplant and pomegranate dish. I call it a side dish but you could of course have it on its own. What I loved about it is that it uses the fantastic Autumnal eggplant and it ends up so silky and creamy against the fresh herbs and tangy pomegranate and yogurt. It's also ideal because it can be served cold, warm or hot. I usually just taste dishes and give the lion's share to Mr NQN with his voracious appetite but with this dish I held firm and ate my share, it's that good.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like hanging out with your work colleagues outside of work hours?