“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
― Laurie Colwin
Summertime is when tomatoes and long beans are at their peak. Produce that grows together goes well together. But this time the anchovies are not optional. They’re an integral ingredient here, and it’s worth seeking out quality brands.
We think Shaoxing wine, a Chinese fermented rice wine, is the secret sauce that makes this recipe sing. It’s pretty easy to find at Asian markets, but don’t confuse it with rice vinegar! If you see bottles labeled “rice cooking wine” without the Shaoxing designation, they will work too. While you can substitute dry sherry, nothing else achieves quite the same flavor
Date syrup gives this savory, nutty eggplant salad the perfect amount of sweetness, and you can find it at most well-stocked grocery stores and health food stores. Alternatively, 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses or 1 Tbsp. honey are worthy substitutes.