fried cusa & eggplant

We didn’t have our usual family dinner yesterday, but instead I got some one on one time with Tete which is always nice. She had lots of cusa (cousa, kusa, koosa, gray squash or whatever you like to call it!) both for stuffing and frying, and a nice big eggplant.

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The cusa. Tete already cleaned/gutted the ones she was planning to stuff and put them in the freezer for later use,

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but she saved the insides for me. Squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible,

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begin sauteing as much onion as you want in a little olive oil,

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add the cusa a little at a time, seasoning with salt and perhaps a little garlic & pepper, cooking it over medium-high heat and stirring frequently until most of the liquid cooks out. Don’t let it burn! While I did that…

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Tete sliced the remaining cusa and began to fry it up,

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like this,

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until it looked like this. Remove the slices onto a dish covered with paper towel to absorb excess oil – you may want to blot it, too. She then did likewise with the eggplant.

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Now, all you need is pita bread, sliced tomato, and plenty of salt (notice we each have our own salt shakers). Just for a little extra something, I put out the marinated alfonso olives and for those, you really should have a loaf of talamee (the fat round Syrian bread).

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This is one of my favorite, simple Lenten meals on days when oil is permitted.

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Sprinkle a slice of tomato with salt and put it in a piece of pita bread. Sprinkle a few pieces of cusa with salt and add them to the sandwich (I do both sides of the tomatoes and the cusa, FYI). Take a bite. It’s wonderful. If you are like me and Tete, add more salt after each bite.

We mash the eggplant with our forks and make the same kind of sandwich. The other cusa (sorry I don’t know the name of this dish) can be eaten with bread or just by itself. Hmm…does anyone know what this stuff is called???

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