Eggplant. Love it or Leave it!
I am learning to love it. The name eggplant, rather than its true name aubergine, refers to the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars which were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs.
The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Traditionally, recipes suggest salting, rinsing and draining of the sliced fruit to soften it and to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking, but mainly to remove the bitterness. Some modern varieties – including those large, purple varieties do not need this treatment. The fruit is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed. The fruit flesh is smooth and the many seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so peeling is not required.
It may also be roasted in its skin until charred, so the pulp can be removed and blended with other ingredients, such as lemon, tahini, and garlic, as in the Middle Eastern dish Baba Ghanoush and the similar Greek dish Melitzanosalata. Grilled, mashed and mixed with onion, tomato and spices makes an Indian dish called Baingan Ka Bhartha or Gojju, as well in chutneys, and curries. A mix of roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, chopped onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery and spices is called Zacusca or Ajvar in the Balkan countries. The fruit can also be stuffed with meat, rice or other fillings and then baked. It can also be found in Chinese cuisine, braised, stewed, steamed, or stuffed.
This recipe was handed down to me from the Amish, who have been enjoying Eggplant for many years. Some prefer eat eggplant over any other vegetable out there.
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Jalapeño Pepper
- 2 Eggs, Farm Fresh of course
- salt as desired
Peel the eggplant and slice into thin 1/8 inch disks. Crack the two eggs into a soup plate. Take the seeds out of the jalapeño pepper and grate approximately one half of it. Add to the eggs. Thicken with flour until you have a thin batter. Dip the sliced eggplant into the batter and fry until crisp in olive oil. Enjoy them with homemade bread, butter and tomatoes. For a variation, replace the eggs with olive oil, omit the flour and grill.
A Note From Ana: That eggplant recipe is fantastic!!!!! Add a little fresh basil when it’s done for another level of flavour!
Last summer I experimented with and enjoyed an Eggplant Dip or Baba Ghanoush http://triplecordcsaorganicproduce.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/roasted-eggplant-and-garlic-dip/