… depictions of a mother and daughter trying to find a hole in a wall rate pretty low.

But I guess I’m grateful a media company stepped in to stop a Super Bowl commercial it found controversial. Maybe it’s a trend. If so, I’d love those broadcasters to tackle some of the images and ads that rate a little higher on my “I’m offended” scale.

Let’s start with the commercial for individual Viagra packets. You know: The one with the woman in the slinky blue dress, sidling up to a bed and giving her gray-haired lover a come-hither look?

It offends me.

Or Cialis, another erectile-dysfunction product, and its “when the moment is right” campaign. Gosh, it looks like those people are going to f*&% right in public (’cause, you know, the moment is right).


Oh, well. This is why I cook. Instead of wading through hatred’s spume and or trying to untangle hypocrisy’s weeds, I turn to the kitchen.

Things are so much easier here: Heat transforms. Acid brightens. Herbs add freshness and flavor.

We ate this roasted eggplant and pepper concoction during Sunday’s big game. The oven turned the vegetables jammy and sweet. Garlic, cilantro, lemon and olive oil added tartness and depth. We spooned the mixture onto warm tortillas and ate to our heart’s content.

No one was offended.

Roasted Peppers & Eggplant

  •  3 Japanese or grafitti eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease two large, rimmed baking sheets.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the eggplant, then cut it vertically into 1/8-inch strips. Lay the eggplant on one of the baking sheets. Brush liberally with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cut the peppers into half-inch wedges. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay them on the other baking sheet.

Place both baking sheets in the oven. Roast for 12 minutes, then turn the eggplant over and stir the peppers.

Roast for an additional 12 minutes. Your eggplant should be soft and pliable now. Remove it from the oven:


Stir the peppers. Roast an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The peppers are done when they’re soft and pliable.

Place the eggplant and peppers in a pretty bowl. Toss with the cilantro.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, red pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk well and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon or olive oil if needed.

Pour the dressing over the peppers, eggplant and cilantro. Allow to set for 20 or so minutes, or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.

Serve as is or with warm corn tortillas.