Of bikes, eggplant and bread

The food: Sicilian eggplant salad and Persian bread

The story:

My husband E has recently taken up road biking with his friend Rubin. Twice a week, they haul their road bikes to the outskirts of Toronto and go for rides of 40–60 kilometres on country-ish roads. After the last ride, they stopped in at a farmer’s vegetable stand in Richmond Hill, where E went a little wild, locavore-style. He came home with corn, field tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and a Sicilian eggplant.

Sicilian eggplant is pumpkin-shaped, purple, and about 4 times the size of a regular eggplant while containing fewer seeds and having a milder flavour. For one of the several meals it gave us, I roasted slices of it with olive oil, layered the slices with some sliced field tomatoes and bufala mozzarella, drizzled some extra virgin olive oil mixed with chopped basil over it and finished the salad (shown above) with some aromatic sea salt mixed with herbs, from Mallorca.

That salad can be eaten alone, or wrapped within the delicious fresh-baked Persian flatbread that E and Rubin often pick up after their bike rides at Super Khourak, a Persian bakery located at Finch and Yonge in North York.

Super Khourak bakes several varieties of Persian bread in-house – thick or thin, with sesame or poppy seeds or without. All come in one large size that’s about 2 feet long and 1 foot wide. My favourite type is the thin, roti-like, tangy wholewheat one. It can be eaten fresh (and warm from the bakery) or crisped up a little in a toaster oven or oven, and makes a good accompaniment for just about anything, including a mixture of homemade hummus, arugula or watercress, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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