Eggplant

Eggplant

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Eggplant comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Eggplant varieties are interchangeable in most recipes and the vegetable is extremely versatile. Low in calories and high in fiber, eggplant offers very small amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is traditionally eaten with other, more nutritious foods.

How to Prepare:

To remove any acrid flavors and excess moisture, lightly salt slices of eggplant and allow them to sit in a colander for 10-15 minutes. Gently squeeze out any liquid. This ensures that the eggplant will soak up less oil and need less salt in preparation.

How to Store:

Eggplant is best when it’s fresh. Store unrefrigerated at a cool room temperature, or in hydrator drawer of the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For long-term storage, dishes like baba ghanouj and ratatouille freeze well in airtight containers.

How to Cook:

Eggplant is very versatile. You can bake, stuff, saute, steam, grill, fry, or blend it into a dip or spread.

Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

Recipes

Curried Eggplant With Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1-15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup
  • fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup
  • plain low-fat yogurt, optional

Preparation

In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rice, 1 ½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir the rice once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables from heat and stir in the basil. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the vegetables over the rice with yogurt, if using.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic until lightly browned. Mix in parsley and eggplant. Cook and stir until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Spread zucchini in an even layer over top. Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, with onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of All Recipes

Eggplant Roll-Ups

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (about 1-3/4 pounds), cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 2-1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

Preparation

Season the eggplant with salt and pepper. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and 4 tablespoons pesto. Pour the bread crumbs onto a large plate. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumbs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the eggplant until golden, 2 minutes on each side, using the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the eggplant to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and 3 tablespoons pecorino-romano; season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining pesto on each eggplant slice and top with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Roll up each slice. Bake until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a toothpick, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer. Serve the roll-ups with the sauce and remaining pecorino.

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, (about 12 ounces)
  • yellow cornmeal, for dusting
  • 1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough, or other prepared dough
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

Preheat grill to medium-high. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Grill, turning once, until marked and softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool slightly, then thinly slice into strips. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peel or large baking sheet. Roll out the dough and transfer it to the prepared peel or baking sheet, making sure the underside of the dough is completely coated with cornmeal. Slide the crust onto the grill rack; close the lid. Cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a large spatula, flip the crust. Spread marinara sauce on the crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Quickly top with the eggplant, basil and garlic. Lay the Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings on top. Close the lid again and grill until the cheese has melted and the bottom of the crust has browned, about 8 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Eating Well

Eggplant Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large Japanese eggplants, each cut lengthwise into 6 slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens

Preparation

Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Prepare grill (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Brush eggplant with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until golden and just tender, about 3 minutes per side. Toss greens with enough dressing to coat. Divide among plates. Top with eggplant. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious